Ottawa Housing Market Report

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Report Updated: February 9th, 2021

Ottawa’s real estate market slowed down for the month of January 2021 as further COVID-19 lockdowns gripped the city. Sales activity dropped by 4% from December but remained 24% above Jan. 2020 levels with 964 homes sold. Of those 964, 674 were freeholds (detached, semi-detached) and 290 were condos (condo apartments, condo townhouses). Despite the slight drop in activity, average sold prices have shot up as sales skewed to more expensive multi-million dollar homes. Due to this phenomenon, average sold prices for all property types rose by 11% in a single month to $587,892 from $530K in December.

Home prices in Ottawa remain significantly lower than those in Vancouver’s real estate market or Toronto’s real estate market. Most homes in Ottawa are still below the $1 million mark and are consequently still eligible for a minimum down payment of 5% and CMHC insurance, allowing a much larger audience of buyers to compete for very limited inventory. Although slow vaccination, further waves of COVID-19, and seasonal shifts in activity have stalled growth in the past few months,further stimulus by the Bank of Canada (leading to record low mortgage rates) and the Federal Government are likely to continue to push prices higher in the next year.

Home Prices in Ottawa

Single-Family Home Prices in Ottawa

Statistics for January 2021
Average Price: $677,19731.2% from Jan. 2020
Units Sold: 67420.8% from Jan. 2020

Condo Prices in Ottawa

Statistics for January 2021
Average Price: $380,33612.5% from Jan. 2020
Units Sold: 29030.6% from Jan. 2020

Ottawa Housing Market Statistics for All Property Types in February 2021

$587,892
Avg. Sold Price
11%
Monthly change
7%
Quarterly change
26%
Annual change
964
Transactions (Buy/Sell)
-4%
Monthly change
-55%
Quarterly change
24%
Annual change

Average Sold Price and MLS HPI Benchmark Price

Total Transactions

Property Type Distribution

Impacts on Mortgages and Mortgage Rates

Due in part to the continued growth in real estate as well as loose monetary policy, mortgage lenders, including members of the Big Five (RBC, TD, CIBC, Scotiabank, and BMO), are increasingly willing to discount risk in the housing market and are offering record-low mortgage rates. Although this highly-competitive market may not last past the end of 2020, mortgage rates are not expected to rise significantly by 2022.

Housing Markets Across Canada

Market Overview for Freeholds in February 2021

$677,197
Avg. Sold Price
12%
Monthly change
12%
Quarterly change
31%
Annual change
674
Transactions (Buy/Sell)
-5%
Monthly change
-60%
Quarterly change
21%
Annual change

Average Sold Price

Transactions

Market Overview for Condominiums in February 2021

$380,336
Avg. Sold Price
7%
Monthly change
3%
Quarterly change
12%
Annual change
290
Transactions (Buy/Sell)
-0.68%
Monthly change
-40%
Quarterly change
31%
Annual change

Average Sold Price

Transactions

Glossary and Definitions

MLS® HPI: The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) is an index by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) that tracks the prices of homes in a neighborhood. It allows Canadians to quickly compare home prices across Canada and between periods of time without having to account for specific features of a property. Unlike market prices, which can fluctuate from month to month based on seasonal dynamics, the HPI provides a stable view tracks trends across a longer period of time. The HPI is reviewed every year in May to adjust for changes in the real estate marketplace.

MLS® HPI Benchmark Price: The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) Benchmark Price is the HPI translated into a real-world price number.

Strata Insurance: Strata insurance is insurance used by a strata like a condominium to covers damages to common areas and assets and liability to the strata. It can also include fixtures built or installed as part of the original construction of each unit, even though these may not be common structures. The insurance can cover:

  • Buildings and structures associated with the strata including common areas such as the roof, parking garages, driveways, gyms, pools, etc.
  • Liability for any property damage or bodily injury suffered on strata property
  • Any fixtures that are part of the "standard unit" or original construction of each unit

Strata insurance does not usually include personal items and appliances that are part of a condo unit. It also does not cover the damages made by individual unit owners, such as in the case of water damage caused by a unit owner. These are usually covered by personal condo insurance.

Property types

Detached home: A detached home is your standard single-family home. It is a residential building that stands alone and is separately titled or legally a single unit.

Semi-detached home: A semi-detached home is similar to a detached home, except it shares a wall with another home. This pair of homes must make up an independent building and each should be separately titled or legally two separate units. There can only be two homes in a semi-detached building.

Townhouses: A townhouse is the middle between a detached/semi-detached home and a condo apartment. Like detached and semi-detached homes, they are often single-family units that have their own land and may be attached to other units. However, like condo apartments, they typically have to pay co-ownership fees for maintenance and may share some common features with their neighbors.

Condo apartment: This category includes all apartments and condominiums. These are complexes of residential units with common areas such as hallways, parking lots, stairwells, etc. They can be low-rise, mid-rise, or high-rise buildings. Unlike townhouses, there are no parts of the lot (the land of the building) where access is reserved for only one owner or occupant. There can be privately owned units and spaces inside the building.

Plexes are multi-story buildings with two to four individual units, usually one on each floor. They are a mainstay in Montreal and other cities in Quebec. Each unit is usually individually accessible via an external entrance with higher floors connected by staircases.

Property Classes

Freeholds: A freehold is any property where the owner owns both the house and the land it is built on. Common freehold property types include: detached, semi-detached, some townhouses, and farmland.

Condominiums: A condominium or condo is any property where the owner owns the home (or unit) but shares ownership of the land and other improvements with a condominium corporation. Common condominium property types include condo apartments and some townhouses.

Housing Markets Across Canada

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Data sourced from the Ottawa Real Estate Board (OREB) and the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). Any analysis or commentary is the opinion of the analysts at WOWA.ca and should not be construed as investment advice. Please consult a licensed real estate professional before making a real estate investment decision. The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS®, and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA.