Pent-up Buyer Demand Drives January’s Resale Market

Here is a quick overview of the statistics for home sales in Ottawa in January 2021:

Number of Sales:

  • 964 residential properties were sold, an increase of 24 per cent compared to January 2020,
  • of those properties, 674 were “residential” (non-condo) sales, up 21% from January 2020,
  • the remainder, 290 were condominiums, up 31% from January 2020,
  • the 5-year average for total number of unit sales in January is 786.



“Pent-up Buyer demand fueled the exceptional number of sales that took place in January even as the mid-month lockdown further restricted supply. Earlier in the month, listing activity increased, likely driven by those Sellers waiting until after the holiday season to put their properties on the market. However, once the Stay-at-Home Order was announced, Sellers pulled back (rightfully so) and the number of properties entering the market declined” states Ottawa Real Estate Board President Debra Wright.

“Even though inventory is up from last month, it is still down substantially from last year at this time with 43% fewer properties on the market. This inventory shortage coupled with strong demand triggered a brisk pace to the market. We would have certainly seen higher sales numbers if there were more properties available because the demand is definitely there.”

Average Sale Price:

  • for Condo’s was $380,336, which is 13% higher than January 2020,
  • for Residential non-condo’s was $677,197, a 31% increase over January 2020.


“I would like to caution those looking at the increase in average prices this month and believing that property values are accelerating at an extreme pace. In January, there was considerable movement in the upper end of the market, which caused a bit of an anomalous outcome in average price percentages. For example, there were 63 sales in the $1M+ price range, while last year at this time, there were only 16 transactions. Sustained price movements are better reflected during the mid to latter part of the year, where trends begin to emerge, and comparisons can be drawn,” advises Wright.

“ This leads me into my next point – market activity has curtailed, there is no question about that, with January resale numbers lower than what we saw in December. But the effects of this second lockdown will not be entirely measurable until the coming months, dependent on when the mandated Stay-at-Home Order is retracted. If the lockdown is extended, that could affect the market in the longer term; however, as we saw last year, the market was resilient throughout and is being driven by the needs of Buyers and Sellers,” Wright concludes.

Dan’s Commentary:

There are many people in Ottawa that are still considering a move, but are unsure of timing. My general advice is that it’s a GREAT time to sell if you are intending to leave Ottawa or perhaps become a renter. The competition to buy homes in most price points and Ottawa neighbourhoods is fierce.

There are very few homes available compared to the active buyers.

I’m happy to discuss your options when convenient.