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  • Writer's pictureThomas Desjardins

March 2023: Ottawa Real Estate Market Update

Updated: Apr 8, 2023



Ottawa Real Estate Market in Context


The real estate market experienced a slower month in March compared to recent years. However, there was still an increase in sales volume relative to February, which is a positive sign for the spring market. The bulk of this increase in sales volume occurred in the last week of March, suggesting that this trend will continue into April.


Despite trailing behind March 2022 by 16%, the average sale prices remained steady from the previous month. It is worth noting that prices are still 23% higher than they were only a few years ago in 2020.


In addition to the increase in sales volume, there was also an uptick in new active listings, which is good news for buyers who have been facing low inventory in recent months. Additionally, the amount of time it took to sell a home decreased for the second consecutive month, indicating a more competitive market. Overall, these factors suggest a positive outlook for the real estate market in the upcoming months.


Let's take a look at some of the core indicators, within the context of wider market trends, for last month.


Number of Home Sales (Year-Over-Year)

  • Residential unit sales: 1,206 (-39.5%)

  • Freehold unit sales: 903 (-39.0%)

  • Condo unit sales: 304 (-41.0%)

* 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.



Average Sale Prices

  • Residential properties: $635,492 (-16.3%)

  • Freehold properties: $710,197 (-17.1%)

  • Condo properties: $417,235 (-12.7%)

While prices continue to trail the peak we saw at this time last year, month-over-month numbers show a more stable picture. Average prices remained relatively steady with a modest 0.41% increase from February to March.


The table below shows month-over-month price change data since January 2022. The following graph shows monthly average sale price data for the last twelve months.

Month

Price

% Change

March 2022

$758,969

1.13%

April

$739,583

-2.55%

May

$718,998

-2.78%

June

$686,752

-4.48%

July

$649,602

-5.41%

August

$635,982

-2.10%

September

$644,905

1.40%

October

$624,692

-3.13%

November

$620,889

-0.61%

December

$605,282

-2.51%

January 2023

$611,504

1.03%

February

$632,906

3.60%

March 2023

$635,492

0.41%



Active Listings by Month


At the end of March, there were 2,753 homes available for sale in Ottawa representing a 400-unit increase from the previous month. Of those, 2,089 listings were "new" which comes as a relief to buyers who have been facing a lack of fresh inventory through the winter months.


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



Cumulative Days on Market


Cumulative days on market ("CDOM") refers to the total number of days that a home is available for sale before it is sold firm. CDOM includes the time that a property spends conditionally sold or the time that the property is available before being cancelled and re-listed. This replaces the "days to sell" (or "days on market") metric that we previously used since it offers a clearer picture of how long sellers can expect their property to stay on market before selling.


Last month, a home took 52 days to sell, on average. This number is down from February when homes sold in 62 days. This is the second consecutive month that CDOM has decreased since the downturn began in April of last year.


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.

  • A balanced market has 4 to 6 months of inventory.

  • A seller’s market has less than 4 months of inventory.

  • A buyer's market has more than 6 months of inventory.

In March 2023, 2.3 months of inventory were available, compared to 0.6 in March of 2022. Freehold properties increased to 2.3 months from 0.7 months in 2022. Condominium-class properties increased to 2.1 months from 0.6 months in 2022.


While these figures technically place Ottawa in a seller's market based on this specific metric, the market has cooled significantly since the peak in the first quarter of last year. For context, MOI numbers around 8 were common in the not-so-distant past. This is illustrated in the chart below, which shows MOI data by month since 2014.





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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