Ottawa's hot housing market beginning to cool off: Ottawa Real Estate Board

After months in a red-hot real estate market, which has seen bidding wars and homes purchased for hundreds of thousands of dollars over asking, there are signs the market in Ottawa is normalizing.

“June’s resale market performed similar to a typical (pre-pandemic) June, with unit sales on par with the five-year average and a lower volume of activity compared to May, particularly in the last two weeks of the month,” said Debra Wright, president of the Ottawa Real Estate Board (OREB).

Wright said a tapering off this time of year is common, as families shift their focus over the summer, spending more time away and outdoors — even amid a pandemic.

“It will be interesting to watch the market over the summer to see if this normalization of the real estate sales' ebb and flow is indeed the case moving forward. Last year, summer resales skyrocketed due to pent-up demand when the first lockdown ended,” said Wright.

The average price of a condo in June was $435,198, an increase of 21 per cent from last year, while the average sale price for a residential property was $725,970, an increase of 26 per cent from a year ago. The OREB said those prices have not seen nearly the same increase from one month to the next as earlier in the year — a sign prices are levelling off.

“Properties are not moving as quickly as they were. Inventory has picked up; there is less scarcity and more choices – consequently, less upward pressure on prices. Additionally, we are noticing fewer of the multiple offer frenzy situations,” said Wright, adding that while many properties still have multiple offers, there are fewer of them on offer days.

The OREB said the normalization of the market is a good sign for buyers, but it also means sellers will have to adjust their expectations.

The board said its members sold 2,131 residential properties in June.