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  • Writer's pictureThomas Desjardins

February 2024 | Ottawa Real Estate Market Update

Updated: Apr 3



February 2024 Market Summary


  • Sales accelerated significantly through February as buyers resumed their home searches leading into spring

  • Median prices rose slightly month-over-month, and year-over-year

  • Total active listings increased significantly last month providing more options for buyers compared to December and January

  • A significant increase in buyer activity in February resulted in homes selling much more quickly on average, while the supply and demand balance shifted further in favour of sellers


Notable Update in This Report


We made a small (but meaningful) change last month by replacing average sale prices and days on the market data with median values. Medians provide a more accurate picture of our real estate market since they eliminate outliers, which can greatly impact the overall picture. This is especially true in the condo segment which sees fewer sales on a month-to-month basis.


Read on to explore the numbers for February.


Number of Home Sales

Total last month

vs Previous Month

vs Same Month Last Year

​vs 5-Year Average**

​Residential

1009

+41.9%

+19.3%

-13.6%

​Freehold

762

+40.3%

+21.5%

-12.8%

Condo

247

+47.0%

+13.3%

-16.0%

* Residential sales include all residential properties; freehold includes detached singles, townhouses, and semi-detached homes; and condos include apartments, row units, and stacked-style dwellings.

** Based on the 5-year average for the month covered in this report.


The Ottawa real estate board members sold 1009 properties last month, 19.3% more than in February last year. This comes after the Ottawa Market posted a 12% year-over-year increase in sales in January. Should the trend persist, Ottawa would shatter the 5-9% increase in sales that economists projected for the Canadian market in 2024. It's worth mentioning that the first quarter of 2023 was particularly slow, so we'll hold off making any bold predictions for now.


The graph below shows monthly sales volume data grouped by month since 2018.



Median Sale Prices

Median Last Month

vs Previous Month

vs Same Month Last Year

vs 5-Year Average

Residential

$600,000

+2.6%

+1.2%

+7.8%

Freehold

$656,950

+3.5%

+1.4%

+8.1%

Condo

$395,000

+2.6%

+1.3%

+7.8%

The median sale price of a home in Ottawa saw a modest increase month-over-month in February continuing a trend we have seen for the last 18 months. Median prices have hovered around $600k since mid-2022, but things may change if we see a significant decrease in variable interest rates in the next 12 months. According to economists, we should expect 2-5 overnight rate decreases by the end of the year which would amount to a .5% to 1.25% drop in variable rates. While this may relieve variable rate holders, decreasing rates may result in a more heated property market for folks planning to buy this year.


The following graph shows monthly average sale price data since 2018.



Active Listings by Month


At the end of January, 2,828 homes were available for sale in Ottawa, representing a 243-unit increase from the previous month. This represents a 9.4% increase over last month and a 21% increase over February last year. We should see more homes listed for sale as we approach the spring market.


The chart below shows the active listing data for the last 5 years.



Cumulative Days on Market (Median)


Cumulative days on market ("CDOM") refers to the number of days a home is available for sale before it is sold firm. CDOM differs from "days on market" (DOM) because it includes the period when a property is conditionally sold and/or the length of time that a property is available before being cancelled and re-listed.


Last month, a home took a median of 28 days to sell. This represents a sharp decrease of 57% from January when homes sold in 65 days. A steep CDOM drop in February is expected given that January is one of the slowest months for real estate sales.


Median CDOM data since 2018 can be found in the table below.



Months of Inventory


The months of inventory measure ("MOI") is calculated by taking the number of homes available for sale and assessing how long it would take for those to sell if demand remained constant and no new inventory was added to the market. This measure is a core indicator that helps assess whether we are in a buyer's, seller's, or balanced market.


In February, there were 2.8 months of inventory in Ottawa, down from last month when we had roughly 3.6 months of inventory available.


MOI data for residential properties, freeholds, and condos, can be found in the chart below.



Last year in context


As expected, 2023 marked the first drop in annualized average prices since 1996. 2023 was also the largest single year-over-year drop in prices since we started keeping records for individual cities in 1956.


The historical average price of a home in Ottawa since 1956 can be found in the chart below.



What This Means for You


It is critical to note that broad aggregate data is useful to establish trends, but significant variability exists at a community and housing-type level. If you are interested in getting a more refined estimate of the value of your home, or if you are interested in beginning your house hunt, we would love to help!


Give us a call at 613-614-2999 for your no-obligation consultation.


* Real estate market data is taken from the Ottawa Real Estate Board's Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and is believed to be accurate but is not warranted.



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