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Real Estate Pivots in the Age of Covid-19

Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 913 residential properties in April through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® System, compared with 2,025 in April 2019, a decrease of 55%.
Ottawa Real Estate Board, May 5, 2020

April’s sales included 700 in the residential-property class, down 56% from a year ago, and 213 in the condominium-property category, a decrease of 51% from April 2019. The five-year average for April unit sales is 1,692.

April’s average sale price for a condominium-class property was $327,813, an increase of 6.3% from this time last year while the average sale price of a residential-class property was $521,694, an increase of 6.8% from a year ago. Year to date figures show a 15.1% and an 18.5% increase in average sale prices for residential and condominiums, respectively.

 “While the Ottawa real estate market statistics for April come as no surprise, they are a stark contrast to the previous month and the year-over-year figures for April 2019,” states Ottawa Real Estate Board President Deb Burgoyne. “I am proud to say, our Members have rapidly adapted to following the “State of Emergency” guidelines and are limiting work activity to assisting those who must sell and/or buy during this pivotal time – while keeping the health risk to all parties to a minimum.”

“While the number of unit sales has decreased substantially, residential prices are still holding their own and are up over last year’s figures, with properties often selling above the asking price,” Burgoyne reports. “There is still a holdover of pent-up demand in our marketplace. We believe that when the market opens up again, although it won’t be business as usual, sales will rebound and make up for the decline the spring market has experienced,” she adds.

“Our Members have been adjusting and retooling the way real estate is conducted. They are finding new ways to market properties and provide options for viewings using technology such as live streaming open houses, posting virtual tours, and holding virtual showings, etc. These adaptations are key in mitigating risk for all parties and will certainly continue to be necessary as things normalize in the city and our working environment.”

“If you are a potential home buyer or seller, and in a situation where it is essential that you buy or sell a property right now, there are means to do this in a safe and prudent manner. Do not hesitate to contact a REALTOR® to discuss, plan and protect you through this unique period,” recommends Burgoyne.

In addition to residential and condominium sales, OREB Members assisted clients with renting 947 properties since the beginning of the year compared to 778 at this time last year.