Housing sales cool down: report; November demand slowed 9%, Ottawa Real Estate Board says

Demand for resale homes fell in November, according to a report released by the Ottawa Real Estate Board on Wednesday.

The monthly report said 931 resale homes were sold during the month, down nine per cent compared with the 1,023 resale homes sold during the same month one year ago.

However, the board cautioned that November 2011 was a particularly strong month for home sales. Compared with the five-year average of 890 sales for the month, November 2012 wasn’t that bad for sellers.

“Last year was the best November on record for resale home sales in Ottawa, while this November the sales have come back down to their normal levels,” said Ansel Clarke, Ottawa Real Estate Board president.

Real estate watchers have been predicting a cooling of Ottawa’s hot market for months now. Tighter rules for mortgages have weeded out many first-time buyers and ongoing cuts in the federal government have spurred many to put off plans to buy a new home. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. has reported it expects sales of resale homes during the final two months of 2012 to be lacklustre. It predicted the year will finish at around 14,300 units, down 1.3 per cent from the 14,551 units sold in 2011.


The stagnant sales pace will occur in the midst of record high home listings, which will likely have an impact on selling prices. The federal housing watchdog predicts that by the end of 2012, more than 27,800 properties will have been placed for sale on the Multiple Listing Service.
That’s the highest since 2011 when 25,949 homes were listed by real estate agents.

The real estate board said that in the first 11 months of 2012, a total of 13,692 resale homes had been sold, only three fewer than in the same period in 2011. The average sale price of residential properties, including condominiums, sold in November in the Ottawa area was $350,020, an increase of one per cent over November 2011, according to the board.

With the softening market, Ottawa’s once-booming scene for condominiums seems to showing a bit of weakness. The average sale price of a condominium class property was $258,500, a decrease of 2.6 per cent over November 2011. In October, the average selling price of a condominium property in Ottawa sat at $267,037.

Source: Ottawa Citizen

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