Ottawa home sales down 35 per cent to start 2023

The real estate slowdown continued in Ottawa in January, with home sales dropping for the 11th straight month.

Home sales were down 35 per cent year-over-year last month, according to the Ottawa Real Estate Board.

Condo sales in particular took a steep dive, down 47 per cent from January 2022.”

“January’s marked slow down in unit sales over 2022 indicates potential home buyers are taking their time,” OREB President Ken Dekker said in a news release. “While last month saw the culmination of the succession of interest rate hikes announced by the Bank of Canada, affordability remains a factor.

“They may be waiting for a shift in listing prices. They’re being cautious in uncertain conditions.”

Prices are also down year-over-year. The average price of a freehold property in Ottawa last month was just over $676,000, down 12 per cent from a year ago.

The average condo price was just over $412,000, down eight per cent.

“Despite the decrease in average prices, the market should not be considered on a downward slide,” Dekker said. “A hyper COVID-19 seller’s market is now leveling out to our current balanced market state.”

He notes that the average price of freehold properties actually went up three per cent from December to January.

Condo prices fell five per cent, but he said those numbers tend to fluctuate more because it’s a smaller data set.

The Bank of Canada raised its key interest rate by 25 basis points last month after raising it seven times in 2022.

Last year at this time, the city had less than a month of real estate inventory, with buyers snapping up homes days after they were listed on the market. That’s up to nearly four months this year.

“Ottawa’s inventory and days on market figures are typical for a balanced market and another sign that buyers are no longer racing to put in an offer,” Dekker said.

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