OTTAWA -- The COVID-19 stay-at-home order didn't stop homebuyers from going on a shopping spree in Ottawa in May.

The Ottawa Real Estate Board reports a 71 per cent increase in homes sold in May compared to the same month last year, with 46 per cent of homes selling for more than $700,000.

Newly released data shows 2,296 residential properties sold last month, compared with 1,342 in May 2020.

"Although Ontario was in a lockdown in both May 2020 and May 2021, the impact they had on Ottawa’s resale market was quite different – with this year’s number of transactions being well over the five-year average," said Debra Wright, Ottawa Real Estate Board President.

"Undoubtedly, enhanced safety measures and vaccine adoption rates have enabled potential buyers and sellers to feel more protected and comfortable in their home buying and selling process."

The board says twice the number of new listings were placed on the market in May2021 compared to last year. A total of 2,386 residential properties and 727 condos were added to inventory.

"This is approximately 50 units more than the five-year average for new listings," Wright adds.

The average sale price for a residential-class property was $741,206 in May, up 35 per cent from a year ago. Condos sold for an average of $424,843, up 24 per cent.

"For residential-class properties, price movement is still well above 2020, with 46 per cent selling over $700K compared to 16 per cent of properties last year at this time," said Wright.

"We observe that month-over-month average price increases for April and May are not as high as the jumps in value in the first quarter of 2021. While it is still too early to predict, this may be a sign that the rapid price acceleration we have been experiencing is easing in the market."