Ottawa sales, starts on a roll
April 25, 2018
Canada’s capital city is bucking an Ontario—even national—trend as Ottawa housing sales and starts came into March like a lion.
Sales of homes through the Ottawa Real Estate Board increased 12.3 per cent in March compared to March 2017, a month when sales had rocketed up 23 per cent from March of 2016.
Ottawa home builders were also busy in March, as total housing starts jumped 141 per cent from February and were up 14 per cent from March 2017. Actual starts reached 387 units in March and the seasonally adjusted rate was 6,271.
As a comparison, actual Ontario-wide housing starts were down 14 per cent in March compared to March of last year, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. reports.
It is the resale sector that is attracting the buzz.
“We are seeing more sales than last year because listings are not staying on the market,” said Ralph Shaw, president of the Ottawa Real Estate Board. “Properties that are priced well are selling quickly with days on market dropping to an average of 43 days from an average of 54 days in March 2017.”
The average resale price of a detached house in the Ottawa area was $447,561, an increase of 8 per cent over March 2017. The average sale price for a condominium was $275,592, an increase of 0.7 per cent from March 2017.
The Ottawa experience contrasts that of many major cities which saw home sales decline in March, a downturn many blame on the new mortgage stress test for borrowers and slightly higher lending rates.