Ottawa MLS® December Home Sales Close Out Year in Steady State.

Ottawa MLS® December Home Sales Close Out Year in Steady State.

On January 4, 2024, Ottawa MLS® ended the year on a stable note, showcasing 565 homes sold in December 2023 via the Ottawa Real Estate Board's MLS® System, marking a 7.6% rise from the prior December. However, this fell 16% below the five-year average and 11.9% below the ten-year average for December sales. Overall, 11,978 homes were sold in 2023, indicating an 11.0% decline from 2022.

OREB President Curtis Fillier noted the market's steadiness, suggesting a potential return of consumer confidence, likely influenced by anticipated rate stabilization in the latter half of 2024. While acknowledging the challenges faced, Past-President Ken Dekker expressed optimism, foreseeing Ottawa's market recovery and advising patience to both buyers and sellers.

In terms of prices, the MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) reflected a modest 2.7% increase in the composite benchmark price to $623,900 in December 2023 compared to the previous year. Single-family homes reached a benchmark price of $704,900 (up 2.7%), townhouse/row units were at $481,100 (up 4.2%), and apartments were $417,200 (up 2.1%) on a year-over-year basis.

The average price of homes sold in December 2023 stood at $632,487, up 1.7% from December 2022, while the year-to-date average price experienced a 5.5% decline from 2022 at $667,794. December's total home sales reached a value of $357.3 million, showing a 9.4% increase from the same period in 2022.

However, caution was advised regarding the use of average sale prices as indicators of specific property values, as these figures can vary significantly by neighborhood.

Regarding inventory and new listings, December 2023 saw a notable 12.4% decrease in new listings (523 in total), with active residential listings increasing by 3.0% to 1,844 units. Despite this rise, active listings were considerably above the five-year average (55.5%) and slightly below the ten-year average (17.2%) for December.

The months of inventory reduced slightly to 3.3 by the end of December 2023, compared to 3.4 in December 2022, indicating the time it would take to sell the current inventory at the existing rate of sales.

In terms of leadership changes, a new Board of Directors was elected in December to represent Ottawa's 4,000 REALTORS® for 2024, with Curtis Fillier as President, Ken Dekker as Past-President, Paul Czan as President-Elect, and Tami Eades as Vice-President, alongside several other directors. Curtis Fillier, OREB's first openly gay President, brings a wealth of experience from the accounting and tax advisory field and corporate sector.

Furthermore, Janice Myers transitioned from her role as OREB's Chief Executive Officer to lead the Canadian Real Estate Association as CEO from January 2, 2024. Cherie Kirkby, OREB's Director of Corporate Services, is stepping in as interim CEO while the search for a permanent replacement is underway.

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