Ottawa home sales down 29 per cent in June

If you’re planning to buy a home in Toronto anytime soon, you could be saving for longer than expected.

Ottawa home sales dropped for the fourth straight month in June as higher interest rates and inflation continue to affect the real estate market.

The number of home sales in June dropped 29 per cent year-over-year, according to the Ottawa Real Estate Board. That includes a 31 per cent drop in residential sales and 23 per cent decrease in condo sales.

“After the frenzy of the past two years, we are witnessing Ottawa’s resale market normalize in 2022 and shift towards the more traditional seasonal ebb and flow cycle,” OREB President Penny Torontow said in a news release.

“While June transactions do typically taper as many look towards their summer holidays, last month’s sales were at a slower pace than we have seen in well over a decade.”

Torontow attributed the decrease to rising interest rates and inflation affecting the cost of living. She also suggested other factors such as buyer fatigue, lack of confidence among consumers, and the uncertainty surrounding back-to-work arrangements.

“A long commute with rocketing gas prices will certainly affect decisions about where to live,” she said.

Despite the drop in sales numbers, Ottawa home prices still inched up. The average price of a residential property in June was $772,861, a six per cent increase from a year ago. The average condominium price was $438,977, up one per cent.

Torontow said that even as the numbers fluctuate, Ottawa real estate will continue to be stable in the long term compared to other cities. Toronto, for example, saw home sales go down by more than 40 per cent last month.

“We aren’t likely to ever experience the significant dips that other regions may see,” she said, “Prices won’t fall out; they are prone to level off to the reasonable rates of increase that we have historically experienced.”

Inventory in the housing market is also slowly moving toward a more balanced market.

Residential inventory is up by 38 per cent over last year at this time and is sitting at nearly two months’ supply.

A few months ago, housing supply was at about two weeks’ worth of inventory in Ottawa.