August 2023 Newsletter

Stabilized July Resale Market Showing Positive Price Change

Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board (OREB) sold 1,263 residential properties in July through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System, compared with 1,102 in July 2022, an increase of 15%. July’s sales included 979 in the freehold-property class, up 18% from a year ago, and 284 in the condominium-property category, a 6% increase from July 2022. The five-year average for total unit sales in July is 1,621.

“Both transactions and average prices are up from last July indicating consumers remain confident in the market notwithstanding the two recent quarter-percent interest rate hikes by the Bank of Canada. We’re only a month into the third quarter, but based on July’s positive indicators, we are likely to see solid year-over-year results in the second half,” says Ottawa Real Estate Board President Ken Dekker.

By the Numbers – Average Prices*:

  • The average sale price for a freehold-class property in July was $754,188, an increase of 5% from 2022, and a 1% increase over June 2023 prices.

  • The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $435,094 an increase of 2% from a year ago, although 3% lower than June 2023 prices.

  • With year-to-date average sale prices at $735,103 for freeholds and $433,447 for condos, these values represent a 9% decrease over 2022 for freehold-class properties and a 6% decrease for condominium-class properties.

“July’s average prices are showing positive gains over last year, and year-to-date numbers, as expected, are still closing the gap from the peak pandemic market activity of early 2022. Additionally, inventory continues to climb steadily as new listings are added to the housing stock, creating more options for homebuyers. August may be a slower month in Ottawa, but I wouldn’t take a vacation from shopping for your home.”

By the Numbers – Inventory & New Listings:

  • July’s new listings (2,234) were 6% lower than July 2022 (2,364) and down 19% from June 2023 (2,755). The 5-year average for new listings in July is 2,336.

  • Months of Inventory for the freehold-class properties has decreased to 2.7 months from 2.9 months in July 2022 but increased from 2.1 months in June 2023.

  • Months of Inventory for condominium-class properties has decreased to 2.3 months from 2.5 months in July 2022, but is up from 1.4 months in June 2023.

  • Days on market (DOM) for freeholds have increased to 26 days from 20 days in July 2022 and 23 days from June 2023.

  • Days on market (DOM) for condos have increased to 28 days from 20 days in July 2023 and 27 days in June 2023.

“Although we are in a sellers’ market again, the pandemic’s frenzy has calmed considerably. Sellers need to manage their expectations with true market activity — not every property will automatically see multiple offers or immediate sales. Ultimately, a property’s price is determined by how much a buyer is willing to pay. Using the marketing and negotiation skills of a professional licensed REALTOR® is instrumental for both buyers and sellers in this fluid market.”

REALTORS® also help with finding rentals and vetting potential tenants. Since the beginning of the year, OREB Members have assisted clients with renting 3,921 properties compared to 3,528 last year at this time, an increase of 11%.


July 2023 Newsletter

Have You Considered A 50/50 Mortgage?

Hybrid mortgages – also known as 50/50 mortgage products – include an equal mix of fixed-rate and variable-rate components within your single mortgage. This means you get the best of both worlds – the security of fixed repayments with the flexibility of a variable rate. Although there was a time in recent years when mortgage experts considered a variable-rate mortgage as the obvious choice to save mortgage consumers money over the long term, with fixed rates remaining near historic lows, a 50/50 mortgage may be a great alternative for you.

In essence, since it's extremely difficult to accurately predict rates over the long term, a 50/50 mortgage offers interest rate diversification, which can help reduce your level of risk.

If you opt for a 50/50 product, half of your mortgage is locked into a five-year fixed rate and half is at a five-year variable rate. You can lock in your variable-rate portion at any time without paying a penalty. As well, each portion of the 50/50 mortgage operates independently – like two separate mortgages – yet the product is registered as only one collateral charge.

The 50/50 mortgage product is well- suited to a variety of borrowers, including those who:

  • Would normally go fully variable but are afraid prime rate is at its bottom

  • Aren't comfortable being locked into a fully fixed rate

  • Can't decide between a fixed or variable mortgage

  • Savvy first-time homebuyers

Some features of the 50/50 mortgage include:

  • 20% annual lump-sum pre-payment privileges

  • 20% annual payment increase ability

  • Portability (the option to transfer your existing loan amount to a new property without penalty)

As the 50/50 option is a fairly new offering, according to a recent study by the Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals (CAAMP), 5% of Canadian mortgage holders have 50/50 mortgages compared to 28% with variable-rate mortgages and 68% with fixed-rate mortgages. But many experts believe the 50/50 mortgage is quickly gaining momentum.

If you would like a mortgage agent to take a look at your credit situation and give you suggestions - contact a mortgage broker today.

June’s Resale Market Eases into Summer

Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board (OREB) sold 1,658 residential properties in June 2023 compared with 1,493 in June 2022, an increase of 11%.

“Although June’s transactions surpassed last year’s, the number of sales, average prices, and new listings declined on a week-to-week basis over the course of the month. Compounded by the typical summer decline in activity, the Bank of Canada’s interest rate adjustment at the beginning of the month may have also flattened the curve says OREB's President.

“Supply is trending in the right direction. The increase in inventory is encouraging and indicates sellers have confidence in the market. A growing resale housing stock will result in more selection for buyers and more sales.”

“We are looking forward to a strong second half of 2023 in terms of sales volume and prices compared to last year. Whichever side of the transaction you are on, the advice of a professional REALTOR® who has their pulse on the week-to-week variabilities in Ottawa’s resale market is priceless.”

The average sale price of a residential-class property sold in June in the Ottawa area was $746,445, a decrease of 4% from 2022, but still on par with May 2023 prices. The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $448,380 an increase of 2% from a year ago and up 1% over May 2023 prices.

Should you buy or sell your home first? Here’s how to decide

If you're a homeowner who's thinking about moving, then you've probably pondered the age-old question — should I sell my home before I buy a new one, or buy my next property first?

Whichever option you choose, it's an intensely personal decision that should take into account individual finances,risk tolerance and current market conditions. Some homeowners who have a strict timeline or budget may take comfort in selling their current residence first, while others who have more flexibility will opt to buy their next home before selling.

If you're on the fence about which option works best for you, here are a few insights that can help you make this crucial decision.

Buying your new home first

For homebuyers who are looking for a specific property and want certainty on their moving timeline, buying their new home first may be the best option.

Buying your next home before selling your current one allows you to take your time searching for a property. This is especially beneficial to buyers who want to be in a particular neighbourhood, school district, or desire specific features in a home. Once you've bought your new home, you'll know exactly when your closing date will be, which will help with coordinating the sale of your existing residence.

While the major advantage of buying first is a pre-determined timeline, this can force a short runway for preparing your current home for sale. That means updating, staging and marketing your property will need to happen within a defined time frame, possibly a short one. The risk: if you are unsuccessful in selling your property quickly, you could be stuck with paying two concurrent mortgages. Although bridge financing can be used as a temporary solution to cover the payments of your new and current home,it is expensive and is not applicable in cases where your property hasn't sold yet.

Buying a new property first is best suited to a seller's market, where demand is higher than the number of homes available, and your property has a better chance of selling quickly. For anyone who is working with a strict budget and is relying on the sale of their existing home to determine how much they can afford to buy, purchasing before selling is not recommended.

Selling your current home first

If you're someone who prefers certainty regarding your finances and the sale of your home before making any big real estate decisions, then selling your home before buying a new one may be best.

The obvious benefit to selling your home first is gaining a clear financial picture before your next property purchase. Once you sell your home, you'll know exactly when your closing date is and how much you can afford to spend on a new place. If you're relying on the capital from the sale of your current property, or you're not in a position to financially bridge the gap between the two homes, then selling first may be the best choice for you.

On the flip side, selling first can create pressure to quickly buy a new home. This can be especially tough in markets with low inventory, where homeowners may feel rushed to snap up whatever property is available. For those who are looking for a very specific property that may require more time to find, selling their current home before buying may not be in their best interest. However, if you feel more comfortable selling first, it's a good idea to have a backup plan in place in the event that you can't find a new home quickly. Consider living with family or friends temporarily, or securing a short-term rental.

How your realtor can help

Whether you decide to buy or sell first, your real estate agent is a great resource and can help you make this important decision by outlining each scenario, and determining which option is right for you based on the current market and your unique situation. Their expertise on local market trends will help you determine whether buying or selling first is best for you.

Want to speak with a Royal LePage agent in your community? Reach out. Helping you is what we do!


June 2023 Newsletter

Ottawa resale market heats up in May

Sale increase for the first time since February 2022

Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board (OREB) sold 1939 residential properties in May through the Board's MultipleListing Service@ (MLS) System, compared with 1830 in May 2022, an increase of 6%. May's sales included 1 477 in the freehold-property class, up 8% from a year ago, and 462 in the condominium-property category, a 1% increase from May 2022. The five-year average for total unit sales in May is 1,961.

Typically the highest-selling month, May's transactions did not disappoint," says OREB's President."This month we saw the first year-over-year unit sales volume increase since February 2022. It is a promising year for sellers barring any interest rate adjustments, as we saw a correlated drop in sales every time there was an interest rate hike in 2022.

However, with only five to six weeks of inventory, we are ina strong seller's market. With the pent-up high demand and sales volume increasing, we are likely to see upward pressure on prices as demand continues to outstrip supply!

By the Numbers一Average Prices*.

The average sale price for a freehold-class property in May was $745,902, a decrease of 7% from 2022 but still on par with April 2023 prices.

The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $442859, decreasing 6% from a year ago. However, it marks a 2%increase over April 2023 prices.

With year-to-date average sale prices at $727,728 for freeholds and $428,394 for condos, these values represent a 12% decrease over 2022 for freehold-class properties and a 9% decrease for condominium-class properties.

We are not seeing steep price escalations yet. May average prices stayed on par with April's, although prices are well over what we saw at the end of 2022. With demand mounting in Ottawa's chronically undersupplied market, expect the average sale price will surpass last year's figures for a month over the same month in the latter half of 2023 again, provided we do not see interest rate hikes.

Blythe Numbers-Inventory & New Listings:

May's new listings (2,822) were 9% lower than May 2022(3,117) and up 32% from April 2023 (2,140). The 5-year average for new listings in Mayis 2922.

Months of Inventory for the freehold-class properties increased to 1.5 months from 1.2 months in May 2022 but down from 1.9 months in April 2023.

Months of Inventory for condominium-class properties has increased to 1.3 months from 1 month in May, 2022although down from 19 months in April 2023.

Days on market (DOM) for freeholds decreased from 27 to 23 days and 33 to 26 days for condos compared to last month.

Given our housing stock challenges, some neighbourhoods are again in multiple offer territory. REALTORS have up-to-the-minute market data and are best positioned to help both buyers and sellers in this evolving competitive resale market.

Transitioning From Renter To Homeowner

Transitioning from renter to homeowner is one of the biggest decisions you'll make throughout your lifetime. That's why it's essential to surround yourself with a team of experts - including both a mortgage and real estate professional- to walk you through the steps to home ownership, answer all of your questions and concerns, help you decide what kind of home you can afford and get you pre-approved for a mortgage.

With interest rates still hovering around “emergency” levels - low rates never before seen by your parents and even your grandparents - now is an ideal time for first-time homebuyers to embark upon homeownership.

Down payment

The main reason many renters feel they can't afford to purchase a home has to do with saving for a downpayment. But there are many solutions available today that can help first-time buyers with their down payments.

Many lenders will allow for a gifted or borrowed down payment. And of those lenders that will not provide this alternative, many offer cash-back options that can be used as a down payment.

Better yet, there are programs available from some financial institutions where they will offer a “free down payment' or a"flex down'. Of course, you will end up paying about 1% more in your interest rate, but the program will help you get in the homeownership door and start accumulating equity earlier. You must, however, stay with the original lender for the full initial five-year term or else you'll have to pay the downpayment back.

Educating and coaching

There s an endless amount of information available to prospective homeowners - through the Internet, friends, family members and anyone willing to voice their opinion on a given subject. What you really need, therefore, is education and coaching as opposed to being bombarded with more information.

Speaking to a mortgage professional in order to obtain a pre-approval prior to setting out home shopping can help set your mind at ease because many first-time buyers are overwhelmed by the financing and buying processes and often don't know what it truly costs to purchase a home. Real examples can go a long way in showing you what it costs to buy a home in your area versus what you're currently paying in rent. For instance, if a renter is currently paying $800 per month, with that same payment (including taxes) they could afford to buy a $120,000 home. And assuming real estate values increase 2% per year over the next five years, the new homeowner would have accumulated $27,000 in equity in their home. If they continue renting, however, this $27,000 has generated equity in someone else s home.

Last year, a $5,000 increase was made to the RRSFHome Buyers Plan, meaning first-time homebuyers can now withdraw up to $25,000 from their RRSPs for a down payment-tax- and interest-free.

And if you're part of a couple making a home purchase together, you can each withdraw up to $25,000 from your RRSPs.


May 2023 Newsletter

Real estate activity in Canada’s cottage country returns to seasonal norms after more than two years of pandemic fueled exuberance

Following a period of relentless buyer demand and fast-rising home prices during the pandemic real estate boom, Canada's recreational markets are anticipating more subdued activity levels and price declines in 2023.

According to the recently-released Royal LePage 2023 Spring Recreational Property Report, the aggregate price of a single-family home in Canada's recreational regions is forecast to decrease 4.5% in 2023 to $592,005, compared to 2022, as activity in the market wanes. This is due to reduced demand as a result of economic uncertainty and a lack of available housing stock, which has helped to keep prices stable. Despite a modest decrease expected this year, the national aggregate price would remain more than 32% above 2020 levels, after two years of double-digit price gains in the country's recreational real estate market.

In 2022, the aggregate price of a single-family home in Canada's recreational property regions increased 11.7% year-over-year to $619,900. This follows year-over-year price gains of 26.6% in 2021.

“After two years of relentless year-round competition, Canada's recreational property markets have slowed and returned to traditional seasonal sales patterns,” said Phil Soper, president and CEO, Royal LePage. “While interest rate hikes have less of an impact on the recreational market than homes in urban settings, because families typically put more money down and borrow less, general consumer inflation combined with a severe lack of inventory has dampened sales activity.

According to a survey of more than 200 Royal LePage recreational real estate professionals across the country, 57% of respondents reported less inventory this year, compared to last year. At the same time, 51% of respondents said they have witnessed less demand for recreational properties in their region, compared to this time last year. When compared to typical pre-pandemic levels, 65% of recreational property experts nationally reported less inventory, while a majority reported similar (38%) or more (38%) demand.

“Recreational homebuyers tend to purchase for leisure and life-enriching purposes. Call it a want versus a need,” added Soper. “Unlike many city buyers who may need to acquire a principal residence quickly, secondary home purchasers often have the benefit of time to find the right property for their specific needs.”

Quebec and Ontario expected to see the largest recreational property price decreases in 2023, with forecasted declines of 8% and 5%, respectively, compared to 2022


Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board (OREB) sold 1,488 residential properties in April 2023 compared with 1,876 in April 2022, a decrease of 21%.

“Ottawa’s resale market is on a steady upward trajectory, narrowing the comparison gap to peak pandemic activity in 2022. However, with new listings not keeping pace, the available housing stock is declining, and with less than two months of inventory — we’re back into seller’s market territory,” says OREB's President.

The average sale price of a residential-class property sold in April in the Ottawa area was $747,123, a decrease of 10% from a year ago. The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $435,875 a decrease of 8% from 2022.

“Upward pressure on sales prices continues with average prices increasing for the fourth month since the market low in December. Additionally, multiple offer situations have returned to certain neighbourhoods and overall days on market are maintaining their downward trend. There continues to be low inventory in certain property classes and new product is coming to the market at a slower rate, which is affecting supply”, adds OREB's President.

6 tips for a seamless moving day

Moving into a new home should be an exciting time, but without proper planning and organization, the whole experience can quickly turn into an overwhelming ordeal.

To help ease the anxieties of moving day, here's a handy to-do list to keep you organized and on-track:

1. Plan ahead

This may seem obvious, but many people find themselves rushing to hire movers and pack their belongings in the final frantic days leading up to their big move. To avoid the stress this can cause, and to ensure moving day flows smoothly, be sure to start packing at least one month in advance. Focus on one room or closet at a time, and use this as an opportunity to purge items you no longer need.  Moving into a new place means starting fresh – donate, rehome or recycle those belongings that won't serve a purpose in your new home. Remember, the first and last days of the month are popular moving days, so don't put off booking your professional movers in advance.

2. Optimize your packing process

For safe travels and storage, pack your belongings in durable moving boxes, ideally new or ones that have little wear-and-tear. There's also the option to rent reusable moving crates that can be returned once your move is complete. You can even hire professional packers to do it for you! To avoid sensitive items getting wet or damaged, use plastic, sealable bags and bins to protect clothing, books and important documents. And, be sure to bubble wrap glassware and fragile items to keep them from shattering in transit!

3. Label and organize your boxes

Label each moving box with the room it belongs in (ie. kitchen, bathroom, bedroom #1). Take it a step further by numbering each box and creating a tracking document to specify which boxes should go in each room. This not only makes it easier for your movers to know where to place your items, but it also helps you to keep track of all your boxes.

4. Make those small repairs before moving in

If time allows, paint the walls, deep clean the appliances, and complete any minor repairs before moving into your new place. Unsurprisingly, it is a lot better to have a fully functioning home before you start to unpack and assemble furniture. If this is not an option for you, consider placing all your items in the garage or basement at first, or simply in the centre of a room, to allow you a few days to clean thoroughly and complete any small jobs necessary before settling into your new space.

5. Update your services and accounts

It can take time for some utilities to get up and running. Set a reminder to take your name off your current utility bills and set up accounts for services at your new place in advance of moving in. Remember to also change the mailing address on your subscriptions, delivery services, and most importantly government and banking documents.

6. Make a plan for your first night

Moving day can be a long and tiring process, so you'll want to plan ahead for that first night. You may not have the time or energy to set up your bedroom right away, or perhaps you are having a new mattress delivered in the coming week. Book a hotel or arrange to stay with family or friends until you are ready to sleep comfortably in your new home.


April 2023 Newsletter

March Resales: Signs of Spring Surge Sprouting

Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board (OREB) sold 1,194 residential properties in March 2023 compared with 2,003 in March 2022, a decrease of 40%.

“The recent rise in transactions is a sign of typical spring activity, even if we’re behind the pandemic peaks of 2022. As spring unfolds, so too will a clearer picture of Ottawa’s balanced market state,” says OREB's President. “As evidenced by the recent climb in freehold prices, Ottawa’s resale market is stabilizing along with the interest rate. Condos remain steady due to their lower price point, there’s more affordability based on the current interest rate structure. Prices are certainly headed in the right direction—if you are looking forward.”

The average sale price of a residential-class property sold in March in the Ottawa area was $710,070, a decrease of 17% from a year ago. The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $418,670 a decrease of 13% from 2022.

“Well-priced and well-prepared homes are selling. REALTORS® have up-to-the-minute statistics to ensure sellers are positioning themselves at the current market value based on recent sales and hyper-local market comparisons. Buyers can benefit from the same data along with their negotiation expertise to guarantee they are receiving the best value for their dollar.”

Buyers spring back: Sidelined Canadians plan return to market

More than a quarter of Canadians who put their home purchase plans on hold over the last year say they will resume their search this spring

Climbing interest rates have given many Canadian homebuyers reason to pause their purchase plans over the last year. Nearly one quarter of Canadians (24%) were in the market for a new home this past year, and 63% of them say they postponed their plans due to rising rates, according to a recent Royal LePage survey, conducted by Maru/Blue. Now,with the Bank of Canada placing a hold on the overnight lending rate for the first time since March of 2022,many homebuyers intend to resume their purchasing plans once again. Of those who say they postponed their plans, 62% now intend to return to the market.

The survey found that more than a quarter (26%) of Canadians who put their home purchase plans on hold over the last year due to rising interest rates will resume their search this spring, following the Bank of Canada's announcement last month to hold the overnight lending rate at 4.5%. Meanwhile, more than one third (36%) say they plan to move forward with their buying intentions, but will wait for the central bank to maintain the current rate for several consecutive months. Some 25% of those who postponed their home buying goals stated that they do not intend to resume their plans in the near future.

“Eight times a year, the Bank of Canada announces changes to its key interest rate, and for eight consecutive meetings, they aggressively raised rates in an effort to tame runaway inflation. On March 8th, 2023 they did nothing and doing nothing was a very big deal,” said Phil Soper, president and CEO, Royal LePage.“Based on our just-completed national survey,this was the signal that many Canadians were waiting for – an indication that it was safe to wade back into the housing market to search for the family home they so desperately want or need.”

For those Canadians who intend to jump back into the housing market, many are gravitating towards a fixed rate mortgage, which can shelter homeowners from fluctuating interest rates. More than half (53%) say they would choose a four- or five-year fixed rate mortgage, and 17% say they would choose a short-term fixed-rate mortgage (1-3 years). Some 16% of respondents say they would opt for a variable rate mortgage.

“The Bank of Canada has indicated that it believes the rate hikes completed over the past twelve months are working their way through the economy, and that inflation should fall to three per cent by mid-year,” continued Soper. “While stating that they believe this period of rising rates is behind us, the bank qualified the statement, stating that if needed, it will increase rates again in the future.That said, it is unlikely we will see another period of back-to-back rate hikes in the near future.

Saving for your first home? Here's what you need to know about Canada's First Home Savings Account (FHSA)

When it comes to putting money away to buy their first home, the federal government's 'tax-free in, tax-free out' First Home Savings Account aims to give Canadians a helping hand.

As of April 1st, Canadians aged 18 or older who are purchasing their first home are eligible to enroll in a tax-free First Home Savings Account (FHSA). Introduced in the 2022 federal budget, the FHSA combines elements of a Tax-Free Savings Account (TFSA) and a Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP), allowing users to make tax-deductible contributions and tax-free withdrawals from the account for the purposes of saving for a home.

Am I eligible for the FHSA?

In order to open an FHSA, users must be at least 18 years old and a Canadian resident. Account holders must also be a first-time homebuyer — someone who has not owned a home and lived in it during the calendar year before the account is opened, or at any time during the prior four calendar years.

An FHSA can be used for a maximum of 15 years, and stay open until December 31st in the year that the account holder turns 71 years old. Users cannot contribute to their spouse or common-law partner's FHSA.

How much can I contribute to my FHSA?

FHSA holders can contribute an annual maximum of $8,000 into their account, with a lifetime contribution limit of $40,000. Unused contribution room can be carried over to the next year up to a maximum of $8,000. Carryforward amounts start accumulating after the user opens the FHSA for the first time. Only the account holder can claim an income tax deduction for contributions made in a particular taxation year.

It is possible to have more than one FHSA open at a time, but the total amount that an individual can contribute to all of their FHSAs cannot exceed their annual and lifetime contribution limits. Similar to a TFSA, a 1% tax is applied on over-contributions to an FHSA for each month that the excess amount exists in the account.

What are the benefits of the FHSA?

An FHSA marries together the concepts of a TFSA and an RRSP in one account.

Contributions to an FHSA, like an RRSP, are taxdeductible. Additionally, any withdrawals made for the sake of purchasing a home are non-taxable, similar to a TFSA, including any investment growth. Users can take advantage of a series of qualified investments in their FHSA, including mutual funds and publicly-traded securities, plus government and corporate bonds. Users can also set up a self-directed FHSA to manage their own portfolio.

What happens when I want to take money out of my FHSA?

If a user wants to withdraw funds from their account, there are a few things to keep in mind.

The account holder must be a first-time homebuyer at the time a withdrawal is made. The qualifying home must be acquired (or construction must be completed) no more than 30 days prior to the withdrawal, and before October 1st of the following year, with the intention of occupying the property as their principal residence within one year after acquiring it. Be sure to read carefully the definitions of a first-time homebuyer and a qualifying home.

If you wish to transfer money out of your FHSA to another account, you can do so to another FHSA, an RRSP or a Registered Retirement Income Fund (RRIF). Be sure to close your FHSA on or before December 31st of the year following your first qualifying withdrawal, when your participation period concludes.

To learn more about the First-Home Savings Account, visit


March 2023 Newsletter

Resale Market Stabilizes in February with a Glimmer of Hope for Buyers and Sellers Alike!

Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board (OREB) sold 855 residential properties in February through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System, compared with 1,411 in February 2022, a decrease of 39%. February’s sales included 633 in the freehold-property class, down 42% from a year ago, and 222 in the condominium-property category, a decrease of 31% from February 2022. The five-year average for total unit sales in February is 1,157.

“We’re going to see declines in transactions and prices when we compare current figures to last February — the height of the pandemic resale market activity,” says Ottawa Real Estate Board’s President Ken Dekker. “On the other hand, with the Bank of Canada holding interest rates steady, prospective buyers have more budget certainty to work with as we head into the spring market.”

By the Numbers – Average Prices*:

  • The average sale price for a freehold-class property in February was $708,968, a decrease of 15% from 2022. However, it marks a 5% increase over January 2023.

  • The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $410,927, decreasing 12% from a year ago.

  • With year-to-date average sale prices at $695,086 for freeholds and $411,449 for condos, these values represent a 14% decrease over 2022 for freehold-class properties and a 10% decrease for condominium-class properties.

“The average price increase for freeholds over January could be an indicator that buyers have normalized to the current interest rates. And perhaps, it’s a glimmer of more activity to come in the months ahead.”

By the Numbers – Inventory & New Listings:

  • Months of Inventory for the freehold-class properties has increased to 2.8 months from 0.7 months in February 2022.

  • Months of Inventory for condominium-class properties has increased to 2.5 months from 0.7 months in February 2022.

  • February’s new listings (1,366) were 22% lower than February 2022 (1,762) and up 3% from January 2023 (1,323). The 5-year average for new listings in February is 1,632.

  • Days on market (DOM) for freeholds decreased from 43 to 37 days and 47 to 43 days for condos compared to last month.

“A decrease in the days on market, paired with fewer new listings entering the market, is good news for sellers,” says Dekker. “However, if that trend continues to impact our supply stock and we don’t get more inventory, our otherwise balanced market could swing back into seller’s territory — but it’s too early to predict.”

“The best advice for sellers and buyers in today’s market is to pay close attention to the comparison and competition insights only a REALTOR® can offer. Ottawa is made up of many micro-markets, and neighbourhood-level data is vital to standing out and closing deals.”

REALTORS® also help with finding rentals and vetting potential tenants. Since the beginning of the year, OREB Members have assisted clients with renting 995 properties compared to 800 last year at this time, an increase of 24%.


February 2023 Newsletter

Resale Market Starts Slow as Buyers Remain Cautious

Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board (OREB) sold 606 residential properties in January through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) System, compared with 933 in January 2022, a decrease of 35%. January’s sales included 460 in the freehold-property class, down 30% from a year ago, and 146 in the condominium-property category, a decrease of 47% from January 2022. The five-year average for total unit sales in January is 819.

“January’s marked slow down in unit sales over 2022 indicates potential home buyers are taking their time,” says OREB President Ken Dekker. “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.”

By the Numbers – Average Prices*:

  • The average sale price for a condominium-class property in January was $412,244, a decrease of 8% from 2022.

  • The average sale price for a freehold-class property was $676,272, decreasing 12% from a year ago.

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

“On a positive note, in comparison to December’s figures, January’s average price of freehold properties increased by 3%. The average price of condos did fall by 5% compared to December but condo pricing tends to fluctuate more due to the small data set.”

By the Numbers – Inventory & New Listings:

  • Months of Inventory for the freehold-class properties has increased to 3.8 months from 0.9 months in January 2022.

  • Months of Inventory for condominium-class properties has increased to 3.8 months from 0.8 months in January 2022.

  • January’s new listings (1,324) were 16% higher than 2022 (1,142) and up 89% from December 2022 (699). The 5-year average for new listings in January is 1,233.

“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,” says Dekker. “The increase in new listings and supply is a boon for home buyers, who now have more selection and the ability to put in conditions at a less frantic pace. REALTORS® are an essential resource in finding the right property for the right buyer. On the other side of the transaction, REALTORS® can help sellers with hyper-local insights about how to sell in their neighbourhood at a time when pricing is key.”

More people are turning to REALTORS® for help renting properties — 509 this month compared to 410 in January 2022, an increase of 24%. “Even with the increase in housing stock, the tighter rental market is another indication that affordability is keeping some potential buyers on the sidelines.”

Foreign Buyer Ban

Canada's foreign homebuyer ban went into effect on January 1st, 2023, and will remain in place for two years. Housing affordability remains a concern for Canadians and interest rates are still rising. Those with variable-rate mortgages are paying hundreds more per month and those with fixed-rate mortgages who have yet to renew are terrified of rising interest rates.

The foreign buyer ban is put in place to prevent foreign buyers from buying large amounts of properties to use as investment homes.The ban will increase number of homes on the market and gradually helping to decrease the price of homes. According to the Parliamentary Budget Office, the average cost of a home is 67 per cent more than what the average Canadian household can afford.

Which properties are included in the ban?

The Prohibition on the Purchase of Residential Property by Non-Canadians Act states that all residential properties including detached homes or similar buildings, semi-detached houses, rowhouse units, residential condominium units and other similar premises.

The legislation applies to residential properties located in an area with a total population of at least 100,000 people with at least 50,000 living in its core (known as a census metropolitan area) and an area with a core population of at least 10,000 people (known as a census agglomeration).

Who is exempt from the ban?

There are some exceptions to the ban, including, those in Canada with temporary work permits, refugee claimants and international students who meet certain criteria.The ban does not apply to those who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents, and it also does not apply to non-Canadians looking to rent a residential property in Canada.

Non-Canadians with a spouse or common-law partner who is a Canadian citizen, permanent resident, person registered under the Indian Act or refugee are also exempt.

Those who are in violation of the ban can be fined up to $10,000 and may be required to sell the property they purchased.Those who knowingly assist a non-Canadian with their purchase can also be fined.


November 2022 Market Trends

Royal LePage forecast adjusted downward: National aggregate home price set to end year modestly below 2021 following third quarter price declines in majority of Canadian markets

According to the Royal LePage House Price Survey released last month, the aggregate price of a home in Canada increased 3.3 % year-over-year to $774,900 in the third quarter of 2022.On a quarterly basis, the aggregate price of a home in Canada decreased 4.9 %; the second consecutive quarterly decline recorded.

“September did not bring the typical seasonal lift in the number of homes trading hands in this country, a clear indication that our housing market continues to adjust to higher borrowing costs,” said Phil Soper,president and CEO of Royal LePage. “Home prices follow sales volume trends,which means we will see further softening in the final months of the year. Our revised outlook has national prices at just below where we ended 2021, erasing the gains made in the first quarter of 2022.”

The aggregate price of a home in Ottawa increased 2.7 % year-over-year to $744,500 in the third quarter of 2022.On a quarterly basis, the aggregate price of a home in Ottawa decreased 7.0 per cent; the second consecutive quarterly decline recorded.

“Despite softening home prices over the summer,Ottawa's fall real estate market is trending towards more stable conditions as new inventory becomes available.We continue to see strong buyer demand in the region – even if lower than last year's historical highs – and not enough supply to fully shift to a balanced market,” said Jason Ralph, broker of record, Royal LePage Team Realty. “Despite rising interest rates, many buyers are still keen to make a purchase this year.And,without a significant boost in inventory, it is unlikely we will see a full return to a balanced market.”

Ralph noted that interest rate hikes and inflation have eased competition. However, properties in the most desirable neighbourhoods, if priced properly, can still produce multiple-offer scenarios.

“Although demand remains strong in parts of the region, buyers today are able to be more selective with their purchases and have the opportunity to place conditions in their offers.Those who are in a position to buy feel the pressure to transact before lending rates rise any further.”

Ralph expects healthy market activity in Ottawa for the remainder of the year and anticipates a shift back to pre-pandemic seasonal trends in 2023, as low supply continues to be a challenge

Resale Market’s Adjustment and Correction Continues

Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board (OREB) sold 987 residential properties in October 2022 compared with 1,670 in October 2021, a decrease of 41%.

“After the volatility of the past two pandemic years, which was unsustainable, the market is correcting and adjusting,”says OREB's President. “The slowdown is compounded by Bank of Canada interest rate increases, which further exacerbates buyer hesitancy and weakens people’s purchasing power—especially first-time homebuyers.”

“Demand is still high, and with increasing inventory available, Buyers have more choices and time to shop for their new home. However, the ongoing speculation about where prices and interest rates are headed shakes consumer confidence and has made some prospective Buyers take a waitand-see approach.”

“Sellers may be understandably concerned about market fluctuations, which have been more drastic lately. As with any major investment, a longerterm perspective is important. The significant year-over-year gains of the last two years were not sustainable. If you have owned your property for any length of time, your equity has increased significantly and will buffer price corrections. If you buy and sell in the same market, it is all relative.”

The average sale price of a residentialclass property sold in October in the Ottawa area was $677,873, a decrease of 5% from a year ago. The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $445,691 an increase of 9% from October 2021.

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