OTTAWA -- The Ottawa Real Estate Board says COVID-19 restrictions caused Ottawa’s real estate market to sputter last month, but the cost of a new home still jumped more than 40 per cent.

The average sale price for a residential class property was $743,204, up 42 per cent from a year ago. The average sale price for a condominium was $427,145, up 30 per cent from last year.

A total of 2,402 residential properties were sold in Ottawa in April, compared with 911 in April 2020 and 2,026 in April 2019.  The board notes the 2020 figures were skewed due to the first COVID-19 state of emergency last spring, which had initially slowed down the real estate market.

In its monthly report, the Ottawa Real Estate Board says the new COVID-19 restrictions imposed in April caused Ottawa's real estate market to sputter. The Ontario government imposed a shutdown on Ottawa on April 3, before issuing a stay-at-home order.

“As the typical spring market ramped up, April was poised to be the strongest on record with over 3,200 new listings of properties for sale. Most of these properties entered the market before the province’s stricter lockdown order was announced midway through the month," said Debra Wright, Ottawa Real Estate Board President.

"At that point, the trajectory sputtered, and while it continued to be active, it followed a noticeable decline as sellers responded to the government’s resolution to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Nevertheless, the number of transactions managed to surpass unit sales recorded in previous Aprils, and we presume the figures would have been even higher in different circumstances."

The Ottawa Real Estate Board says the 42 per cent increase in new homes sold in April and the 30 per cent increase in the cost of a condo boils down to a "lack of supply."

"(It) will continue to be a challenge for buyers until more inventory becomes available," said Wright, noting there were 400 more units listed in Ottawa last month.

"When the stay-at-home order concludes, we hope that pent-up supply will bring some much-needed housing stock to the resale market."

The 42 per cent increase in new home prices in April follows a 35 per cent increase in March. The Ottawa Real Estate Board said the average price of a new home was $758,802. A total of 2,285 residential properties were sold in March.