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Ottawa housing market stable, but moving toward a seller's market

Housing prices are up slightly, but the condo market is where the money is.
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US home purchases rebound; 2015 had most sales in 9 years
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Ottawa home prices are up 2.7% through February, while condo costs are up 5.6%.

"The new home builders, as you know, are coming off of a record year in 2017. We're a little luckier than Toronto and Vancouver, some of those markets that you hear of that are problematic because we still have our builders going full tilt," President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board Ralph Shaw tells 1310 NEWS' The Rick Gibbons Show. "However, keeping developed land in front of them is going to be a longer term issue, to make sure that we don't end up with a permanent supply problem like you have in those other two areas."

The average condo in Ottawa is now going for $243,000.

"The development and intensification around [Ottawa's light rail transit project] is very noticeable, with all of the condominium construction going on and plans for the future," explained Shaw. "Therefore the condo market has certainly been stabilized and balanced out by the new construction." 

The city's low unemployment rate has also affected things early into 2018.

"There isn't the same mobility, you know, people transitioning in and out of the marketplace as well as changing accommodations," explained the real estate board president. "So there's no question, the stable and diverse employment opportunities in Ottawa right now are having a big impact on people staying where they are."

Baby boomers are also staying put, for the most part, according to Shaw. It had been thought that there could be an increase in condo sales this year and a boost to houses in the market, but that has not come to fruition.

This all means that the vacancy rate in the city is very low.

Shaw added that, if you are selling, the hot commodity price point right now is in the $150,000-$250,000 range. That represents 56% of market, and if you can buy something under $250,000 it is competitive with renting.

Listen to the entire conversation with President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board Ralph Shaw:




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Mike Vlasveld

About the Author: Mike Vlasveld

Mike Vlasveld, Village Media Community Editor, OttawaMatters.com
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