The sales figures are in from Ottawa’s housing market in March, and there was good news on several fronts.
Sales were up more than 40 per cent over February, and they were also up over March of 2014. As well, properties are starting to sell faster as we enter the second quarter of 2015: The average cumulative days on the market came in at 83 for March, compared with 99 in February and 119 days in January.
“Indications of a fast-approaching spring market were noted in February, and these numbers are proof that Ottawa is indeed experiencing an upswing in sales,” says David Oikle, president of the Ottawa Real Estate Board, in the press release posted on the board’s website (www.oreb.ca).
The board posts releases early every month, looking at sales in the Ottawa market for the previous month.
In March of 2015, members of the Real Estate Board sold 1,208 residential properties through the Multiple Listing Service system. That was up from 1,184 in March of 2014, representing an increase of two per cent. The numbers were very close to the five-year average for March (1,236).
“Sales increased month over month, with 356 more properties sold in March over February, a 41.8 per cent increase,” Oikle says in the release.
Breaking down the number of units sold in March, they included 980 in the residential property class and 228 in the condominium class.
The board says “condominium class” refers to any property regardless of style (i.e. detached, semi-detached, apartment, townhouse, etc.) that is registered as a condominium, as well as properties that are co-operatives, life leases and timeshares. The residential property class includes all other residential properties.
Along with the fact that properties are starting to move faster, Oikle says “year-to-date sales for the first quarter of 2015 are 1.8 per cent higher than the first quarter of 2014. Average sales prices has also increased, ever so slightly, by 0.8 per cent. So far, the 2015 resale market in Ottawa remains steady and strong.”
Looking at prices for March, 2015, the average sale price of residential properties, including condos, was $361,572, an increase of 0.7 per cent over March, 2014. Looking only at condo-class properties, the average sale price was 251,666, “no change over March, 2014.” Excluding condos, the average sale price of a residential property in March was $387, 141, also no change from March, 2014.
As the board cautions, “while average sale price information can be useful in establishing trends over time, it should not be used as an indicator that specific properties have increased or decreased in value, because the average sale price is calculated based on total dollar volume of all properties sold.”
As for prices, the largest number of properties sold in March, 2015 were properties priced between $300,000 and $400,000, followed by properties priced in the $200,000 to $300,000 range.
Oikle says “residential two-storey homes continue to be the highest sold property class, followed by bungalows and one-level condos.”
In addition to residential and condominium sales, members of the board also assisted clients with renting 593 properties since the beginning of the year.
If you’re interested in buying or selling as the busy spring-summer market approaches, you can contact me through my website (www.nancybenson.com) or by calling my office at 613-788-2556.