The Market in March 2022

A flurry of activity in March (figuratively, and quite literally) 

March gave us a flurry of market activity, with a side of actual unexpected flurries. Although the number of sales last month were down compared to March of 2021 (perhaps just a byproduct of distractions such as unpredictable weather and the easing of some pandemic measures), it still proved to be quite busy—with 590 more units sold (that’s 42%) than in February and 12% higher than the five-year average for the third month of the year. It’s setting the stage for April, typically the month of the year that sees a higher number of sales. 

Average prices continue to move on up. Though in a short term comparison, they only increased 2-3% from February, a look at the longer term shows that the year-to-date averages for residential and condo property classes have increased by 13-14% from 2021. 

There may be a light after all at the end of the tunnel of housing shortage 

Last month, residential-class property inventory came in at 10.5% higher than in March of 2021, but for condo-class it was actually 12% lower. Overall, March inventory was about 6% lower than in March last year, however, it did still surpass its five-year average by 4% (100 units). As it stands now, the Ottawa Real Estate Board reports that we’re at about a half month’s supply of inventory, still quite a bit away from the 4 month threshold of establishing a balanced market. 

But there may be a light at the end of this tunnel—at the close of the month, the provincial government introduced the More Homes for Everyone Act, committing to a long-term strategy to address the critical housing supply issue. The Act includes implementing measures to get homes built faster by reducing red tape and increasing the non-resident speculation tax to 20%. 

We’re hopeful that this could help bring about the more stable market we’ve all been waiting for but only time will tell! 

Related links: 

Ottawa Citizen: Ottawa’s housing market keeps rolling despite higher interest rates

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