The big story of Ottawa’s real estate market for the past few years has been shrinking supply. Few people are putting their homes or condos up for sale until they have someplace to go. In January, the scarcity of listings plumbed a whole new depth.

The result: the average price for residential resales soared 19.3 per cent to $516,200 while condo resale prices were up a nearly equally aggressive 19.1 per cent to $338,100, according to data published Wednesday by the Ottawa Real Estate Board.

Here’s what’s happened to supplies: at the end of January there were little more than 1,400 residential homes for sale, a sharp 35 per cent drop from a year earlier while the number of condos listed plummeted 63 per cent year over year to a shade more than 250. And the totals in January 2019, remember, were down substantially from the previous year. This, in a city with nearly 400,000 occupied dwellings.

Agents sold 558 residential units in January, down just eight per cent from a year earlier, and 222 condos, up nearly seven per cent from January 2019. Overall, the number of resales in January was off five per cent from the same month a year ago.

Residences sold in January had been listed an average of 55 days compared to 72 days for sales in January 2019. Condos moved with greater dispatch, taking 39 days on average, down from 73 days a year earlier.

From the Ottawa Sun Feb 6 2020