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Photo: Vince Alongi/Flickr

Home sales in Ottawa declined by less than one per cent in December according to new numbers from the Ottawa Real Estate Board. Last month, the nation’s capital counted 610 sales, down from 615 in December 2012. However, the tally is still within striking distance of the five-year average for December, which sits at 646 sales, a number that was buoyed by strong activity in 2009 and 2011.

How did 2013 shape up as a whole? The grand total for the last 12 months came in at 13,873 sales, a decrease of 3.2 per cent over 2012’s total of 14,326. The average price for residential properties (including condominiums) sold in 2013 was $357,348, an increase of 1.6 per cent over 2012.

The average sale price of residential properties (including condominiums) for December 2013 was $340,021, an increase of 0.9 per cent over December 2012. The average price for a condominium-class property dropped 5.1 per cent in December to $245,349. Residential-class properties saw their prices increase by 3 per cent to $369,543.

“The introduction of tighter mortgage rules in July 2012 largely affected the market well into 2013. However, as the year progressed the market began to pick back up, and then leveled out in November and December,” said new President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board, Randy Oickle.

“Impending mortgage rate increases may have caused the increase in the second half of 2013, as many first-time home buyers jumped into the market in advance of these increases.”

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