Has everyone been waiting for the arrival of spring? It seems so, as members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 15.9% fewer properties in March 2013 (1,167 residential properties), compared with March 2012 (1,388) on the MLS® system. March's sales included 253 in the condominium property class, and 914 in the residential property class.
"The Ottawa market has been described as steady and stable for the past few years. It's not going up drastically, and it's not going down drastically," says Tim Lee, President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board. "The market was forecasted to slow down in 2013 as a result of recent mortgage changes, and indeed it has."
The average sale price of residential properties, including condominiums, sold in March in the Ottawa area was $358,102, an increase of 1% over March 2012. The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $267,604, a decrease of 4.1% over March 2012. The average sale price of a residential-class property was $386,197, an increase of 2.7% over March 2012.
"According to chief economists at the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and intelligence garnered from large mortgage lenders, large mortgage brokers, and large real estate brokers, the most recent changes to mortgage rules and guidelines has largely impacted first-time buyers by forcing them to focus on more affordably priced homes. They were, to a much lesser extent, priced out of the market," explains Mr. Lee. "When the changes were first announced, those who were actively shopping had to re-evaluate how much home they could afford to finance. Another factor for the slow-down of the Ottawa market could be the role of public service employment cuts in the local economy. "
Should you have questions about the March statistics, home values in your specific Ottawa neighbourhood, or would like more information about where you’d like to live, please contact me, I’d love to hear from you.