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Spring market shows moderating trend

Members of the Ottawa Real Estate Board sold 1,167 residential properties, including condominiums, in March through the Board’s Multiple Listing Service® system, compared with 1,388 in March 2012, a decrease of 15.9 per cent.

“The Ottawa market has been described as steady and stable for the past few years. It’s not going up drastically and it’s not going down drastically,” said Tim Lee, President of the Ottawa Real Estate Board.  “The market was forecast to slow down in 2013 as a result of recent mortgage changes, and indeed it has.

“According to chief economists at the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and intelligence gathered from large mortgage lenders, mortgage brokers and real estate brokers, the most recent changes to mortgage rules and guidelines have largely impacted first-time buyers by forcing them to focus on more affordably-priced homes. They were, to a much lesser extent, priced out of the market,” explains Mr. Lee. “When the changes were first announced, those who were actively shopping had to re-evaluate how much home they could afford to finance. Another factor for the slowing of the Ottawa market could be the role of public service employment cuts in the local economy.”

The average sale price of residential properties, including condominiums, sold in March in the Ottawa area was $358,102, an increase of 1per cent over March 2012. The average sale price for a condominium-class property was $267,604, a decrease of 4.1 per cent over March 2012. The average sale price of a residential-class property was $386,197, an increase of 2.7 per cent over March 2012.

Single level condominium apartments: March’s figures showed 126 sales for the month, compared with 152 in March 2012. The average price in March 2013 was $278,164, a decrease of 3.2 per cent over the previous March.

Two story condominium townhomes: March’s figures showed 106 sales for the month, compared with 102 in March 2012. The average price in March 2013 was $236,580, an increase of 0.1 per cent over the previous March.

In summary, volume is down and prices are still rising modestly. Frustrating, but we are not looking at disaster. Ottawa remains strong.

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