Ottawa real estate market heating up
It's not Vancouver or Toronto, but the Ottawa housing market is heating up.
According to the Ottawa Real Estate Board, 1,010 residential properties were sold in the capital in February. That's an 11.2 per cent increase over February 2016.
"Last year at this time, there was a lag in the market," says Paul Rushforth of Paul Rushforth Real Estate. "It was very slow...this year, the spring market started January 15th and it's not letting up right now."
The average price of a residential property in February was $417,374, up 8.5 per cent over last year. Bidding wars and buyers paying well above the asking price are increasing rapidly.
"In the first two months of 2017, we've entered into the beginning of a seller's market," says Royal Lepage Team Realty's John Lindsay.
According to Lindsay, a bungalow in Bel-Air Heights was listed for $347,000 two weeks ago. In the five days it was on the market, 21 offers were submitted. The house sold for $400,000.
Recently in Hintonburg, a duplex on Gladstone Ave. listed in the $400,000s sold in the $500,000s, apparently over $100,000 over asking.
"These markets are changing so quickly and there's so much more prosperity right now in Ottawa that it's going to be much harder to get a house at the price you're expecting," Lindsay says.
The federal Liberal government is in spending mode, pushing the Ottawa market forward. Other factors in the spike include the return of hi-tech and bigger companies to the capital. Millenials are also driving prices up, mostly in the areas of the downtown core.
"Small spaces, close to the new train that's coming...the Westboros, the Glebes, that kind of area," says Rushforth. "They're snapping up properties down there pretty fast right now."
The OREB is expected to release the numbers for March tomorrow and there's no indication of any slow down.
"I feel like we could see a price increase of eight or nine per cent year-over-year from last March," Lindsay projects. "We haven't seen those kinds of increases since 2006 or (2007)."