OTTAWA -- Ottawa's housing market returned to pre-pandemic sales levels last month; however, a lack of supply of homes up for sale continues to drive up prices.

The Ottawa Real Estate Board says 1,677 residential properties were sold in Ottawa in October, down from 2,132 in October 2020. 

The 1,677 properties sold in Ottawa last month was at the five-year average of 1,605.

"October’s resale market was active, busy, and stable – and followed the typical (pre-pandemic) ebb and flow that we commonly see as we enter the fall season," says Debra Wright, president of the Ottawa Real Estate Board.

“The number of transactions increased slightly over September (1,607) as well as the 5-year average. The only reason we see a year-over-year decrease in comparison to last October is because 2020’s sales peak had shifted from the spring months to September/ October due to the initial Covid-19 lockdown."

The average price for a home increased 19 per cent in October to $716,373, while the average sale price for a condominium-class property was $404,760, up 10 per cent from 2020.

Wright says a lack of supply continues to put upward pressure on home prices.

"Inventory remains at a one-month supply for residential properties and 1.2 months for condominiums. The only way we will find balance in Ottawa’s market is to increase the housing stock exponentially," said Wright.

"Low inventory and a lack of suitable housing options restrict movement along the housing spectrum. Move-up buyers and downsizers have nowhere to go, so they stay in place, but we need that exchange of properties in the marketplace to free up supply for entry-level homebuyers."