OTTAWA — The market for resale home sales in Ottawa remained sluggish in  February, according to the Ottawa Real Estate Board.

Figures released by the board Tuesday showed a 9.3-per-cent drop in sales  compared with February 2012. According to the board, a total of 914 resale homes  were sold through the board’s multiple listings service, down from 1,008 a year  earlier.

Tim Lee, president of the Ottawa Real Estate Board, said the latest dip is  more proof that the federal government’s actions to cool down Canada’s housing  market have been successful. Last year federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty  introduced new rules making it harder for people to qualify for a mortgage.

“It is clear that the Ottawa resale market has slowed down in comparison to  this time last year,” said Lee. “The government was successful in its quest to ‘cool down’ the market. However, if we look at this month’s sales, in comparison  to last month’s sales, the market seems to be picking back up as we approach the  busy spring season.”

Lee said 315 more homes were sold in February than January. However, February  is traditionally a stronger month for home sales than January. The first month  of the year is usually soft due to hangovers from the Christmas shopping season.  In 2012, sales rose by 324 between January and February.

The board said 690 homes in the residential category were sold in February,  compared with 224 condominiums.

The sliding sales numbers are putting pressure on sellers to lower their  prices. According to the board the average sale price of a home in Ottawa in  February was $346,774, a decrease of 1.1 per cent over February 2012.

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