Houses for sale in Ottawa

Ottawa’s MLS® Market Thawed in January but Sales Still Slow

February 6, 2024

The number of homes sold through the MLS® System of the Ottawa Real Estate Board totaled 629 units in January 2024. This was an increase of 16.5% from January 2023.

Home sales were 10.7% below the five-year average and 3.9% below the 10-year average for the month of January.

“Ottawa’s market activity is seeing positive gains over last year but it’s still a relatively quiet market even by pre-pandemic standards,” says OREB President Curtis Fillier. “While REALTORS® are telling us there’s lots of showing activity — probably thanks in part to the forgiving winter thus far — it’s not all translating to sales. This tells us that buyers are back out there looking, but still approaching cautiously. During the pandemic market, buyers had to move quickly and sometimes settle for a property that didn’t check all their boxes. Today, buyers are using the slower market to take the time needed to find their perfect place. Sellers would be well-advised to adjust their expectations and thoughtfully consider their pricing and timing strategy using the negotiating expertise and hyper-local data their REALTOR® can provide.”

“Ottawa’s market conditions can fluctuate quickly, though, because our supply is chronically low,” adds Brandon Reay, OREB’s policy and external relations manager. “Ottawa needs more suitable and affordable homes to address the housing crisis, and we need to increase density to meet population demands. We can’t restore and grow upon the market activity Ottawa saw five and ten years ago without more houses for people to buy. OREB recommends direct solutions for meaningful policy change, including streamlining the process at the Ontario Land Tribunal, eliminating exclusionary zoning, and permitting four units on residential lots. To meet the aggressive housing targets, we need to close the labour gap with investments in colleges and trade schools. We don’t need any more reactionary and distracting policy, like the federal government’s extension of the foreign buyers ban.”

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