Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 610 residential properties in December through the Board's Multiple Listing Service® system, compared with 615 in December 2012, a decrease of less than one per cent. The five-year average for December sales is 646, with sales from December 2011 and 2009 increasing that average.
The total number of homes sold through the Board's MLS® system in 2013 was 13,873, compared with 14,326 in 2012, a decrease of 3.2 per cent. The average sale price for residential properties, including condominiums, sold in 2013 was $357,348, an increase of 1.6 per cent over 2012.
"Looking back at the 2013 market, home sales in the first part of the year were, for the most part down, in comparison to the year before," said new President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board, Randy Oickle. "The introduction of tighter mortgage rules in July 2012 largely affected the market well into 2013. However, as the year progressed the market began to pick back up, and then leveled out in November and December. Impending mortgage rate increases may have caused the increase in the second half of 2013, as many first-time home buyers jumped into the market in advance of these increases."
December's sales included 145 in the condominium property class, and 465 in the residential property class. The condominium property class includes any property, regardless of style (i.e. detached, semi-detached, apartment, townhouse, etc.), which is registered as a condominium, as well as properties which are co-operatives, life leases and timeshares. The residential property class includes all other residential properties.
The average sale price of residential properties, including condominiums, sold in December in the Ottawa area was $340,021, an increase of 0.9 per cent over December 2012. The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $245,349, a decrease of 5.1 per cent over December 2012. The average sale price of a residential-class property was $369,543, an increase of three per cent over December 2012. The Board cautions that average sale price information can be useful in establishing trends over time but should not be used as an indicator that specific properties have increased or decreased in value. The average sale price is calculated based on the total dollar volume of all properties sold.
"Although, the government succeeded in its plan to "cool down" the market over the past year and a half, Ottawa remains steady and balanced, devoid of large fluctuations in resale activity," says Oickle. "We are truly fortunate to live and work in such a stable market area, and it seems buyers and sellers agree that Ottawa remains a great place to call home."
The Ottawa Real Estate Board is an industry association of approximately 3,000 sales representatives and brokers in the Ottawa area. Members of the Board are also members of the Canadian Real Estate Association.