Ottawa Spring market shows moderating trend

Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,167 residential properties in
March through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service┬« system, compared with 1,388
in March 2012, a decrease of 15.9 per cent.

“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.”

“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. ”

The average sale price of residential properties,
including condominiums, sold in March in the Ottawa area was $358,102, an
increase of one per cent over March 2012. The average sale price for a
condominium-class property was $267,604, a decrease of 4.1 per cent over March
2012. The average sale price of a residential-class property was $386,197, an
increase of 2.7 per cent over March 2012. The Board cautions that average sale
price information can be useful in establishing trends over time but should not
be used as an indicator that specific properties have increased or decreased in
value. The average sale price is calculated based on the total dollar volume of
all properties sold.

The Ottawa Real Estate Board is an industry
association of over 2,900 sales representatives and brokers in the Ottawa area.
Members of the Board are also members of the Canadian Real Estate Association.