Ottawa Real Estate March 2020 Statistics

March Residential Resales Withstand Pressure

The Ottawa Real Estate Board recently released the statistics for the sales within the board in March 2020. Here is an overview:

The total number of residential & condo properties sold in March 2020 (1,507) was 1.2% higher than March 2019 (1,507). The moving 5-year average for number of residential sales in March is 1,465.

Sale Prices

According to the Ottawa Real Estate Board (OREB), the average sale price (March 2020 vs. March 2019) of residential (non-condo) homes increased 16.5% to $559,739. Condos increased 27.3% to $369,311. Average appreciation for Condo and Residential sales combined was 23.2% for March 2019 to March 2020.

Those of you watching carefully will note that the Residential average sale price in March 2020 is slightly lower than it was in February 2020, but still within 1%. The average CONDO sale price is up almost $20,000 from February 2020 to March 2020. No explanation was provided by the Ottawa Real Estate Board, but I will suggest it is just a factor of the lower total condos sold vs. residential. Small denominator allows for a more dynamic monthly average.

Inventory vs. Sales — Sellers Market During C-19?

According to recently released OREB statistics for March, freehold homes have just over 2.6 months of inventory and condominiums have just over 2.1 months of inventory. Less than 4 months of inventory suggest that seller’s still have the upper hand and it’s a fairly strong seller’s market for residential properties in Ottawa.

Moving forward I expect it that due to the lack of new listings, due to the state of emergency, we will continue to be in a real estate Seller’s market. I would love to hear what you think in comments, email, or other ways to contact me.

Notes from OREB President:

“Our results show that the Ottawa real estate market seems to have withstood the pressure of a worldwide economic event in March, however in context with our market’s performance up to this point, we can see the underlying effect. Before the pandemic, monthly unit sales were increasing between 10-16% from 2019, while March’s sales were just on par with a year ago. This is an indicator that there has been a slowdown in the real estate market due to Covid-19.” reports Deborah Burgoyne, Ottawa Real Estate Board President.

“Much of March’s activity likely began in the first two weeks of the month before the State of Emergency order was put into place. In fact, we had a head start on the spring market that was heating up earlier than expected, but activity seemed to fall off as physical distancing measures took effect,” she adds.

COVID-19 & State of Emergency

“Once the Ontario State of Emergency began, our Members and Brokerages rightly began to make all adjustments necessary for the health and wellbeing of our clients and customers. We welcomed the government’s declaration of real estate as an essential service so that transactions in progress could be completed. However, it was not and is not business as usual for our Members. They are heeding government and public health authority warnings and advice and are being diligent in taking extra safety precautions. All this, while still doing their best to help their clients successfully conclude or close real estate transactions that were already in progress,” Burgoyne acknowledges.

Inventory

“The shortage of inventory has driven down the number of new listings for the past several years, so we cannot accurately state that the decrease in March was due to Covid-19 where we saw 1,579 new residential listings and 469 for condos. The 5-year average is 2,217 and 665, respectively. I believe that April’s number will provide a truer and more legitimate reflection of the impact of Covid-19 on our local real estate market.” Ottawa Real Estate Board President Deborah Burgoyne speculated.

Days on Market (DOM)

How many days did it take to sell a home in Ottawa in March 2020? This statistic only takes in to account the homes that actually sold. Residential properties sold in 25 days in 2020 vs. 33 days in 2019, just over 25% faster. Condominium properties sold in 16 days in 2020 vs. 37 days in 2019, 57% faster.

Multiple Offers

According to OREB (Ottawa Real Estate Board), in February 2020, about 58% of homes sold over asking. OREB did not disclose this statistic for March 2020, but as someone who continually watches the market I will suggest that there were still a fairly large proportion of homes selling over asking — there certainly were in the neighbourhoods I watch closely.

State of Emergency

Burgoyne added: “In closing, I would like to say that we are grateful to have been granted the essential service designation and are working closely with all levels of government and our provincial and national associations to ensure that we implement the necessary steps and protocols to flatten the curve and remain the trusted advisors that the public have come to expect from the REALTOR® profession.”

Moving Forward

Nobody can really say what will happen as we move forward through the pandemic and state of emergency. My personal opinion is that the way we do real estate in Ottawa, Ontario and Canada will change somewhat in order to protect everyone from spread of the next highly infectious virus. Some changes will require updates to legislation on how realtors, lawyers and banks can fulfill their roles in helping house and move Canadians.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Dan Moloughney, Broker of Record
Ottawa Urban Realty Inc.

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