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Ottawa Valley real estate sales continue year-long slump

The typical summer rise in real estate sales did not happen in the Ottawa Valley as sales slipped for the sixth consecutive month

Realtors in the Ottawa Valley were once again disappointed as the 17.5 per cent decline in home sales in the month of August has many questioning if the negative trend is going to stick around the remaining four months of 2023.

The number of homes sold through the MLS® System of the Renfrew County Real Estate Board totalled 151 units in August 2022. This was a substantial decrease of 17.5 per cent from August 2021 when 180 units changed hands.

Despite the decline in overall home sales, there is still good news contained within the report if you are thinking of listing a home as the average sale price for homes in the Ottawa Valley continued to rise with the average price being $424,534. This represents a slight decrease of 0.2 per cent from August 2021.

In terms of historical trends for the month of August, overall home sales were 19.4 per cent below the five-year average and 8.9 per cent below the 10-year average for the month of August.

On a year-to-date basis, home sales totalled 1,281 units over the first eight months of the year. This was a large decline of 25 per cent from the same period in 2021.

The high median selling price reflects the continual rise in the value of homes with the year-to-date average price being $475,361, a gain of 19.8 per cent from the first eight months of 2021.

The dollar value of all home sales in August 2022 was $64.1 million, down sharply by 17.7 per cent from the same month in 2021.

The number of new listings saw a decrease of 6.1 per cent (14 listings) from August 2021. There were 216 new residential listings in August 2022. This was the lowest number of new listings added in the month of August in more than a decade.

Valley hot spots

Arnprior has undergone enormous growth over the last decade and it coincided with the completion of the twinning of Highway 417 from Ottawa to Arnprior. 

In August 2022, the median list price of a home in Arnprior was $699,500. This was a 10.17 per cent increase compared to the median list price of $ 634,950 in July 2022.

Just 30 kilometres down the highway, Renfrew is undergoing the same change that Arnprior went through as the twinning of the highway is scheduled to be completed within nine years and that has had an influence on the housing market.

Since 2017, the cost to purchase a home in the Renfrew market has risen from $276,600 to $544,000 which represents a nearly 100 per cent rise in the value of home sales.

Other communities in the Valley also has a rise in the average costs, with some not as substantial as Arnprior and Renfrew.

The five year average selling price compared to data from 2022:

  • Cobden has increased from $240,000 to $477,000.
  • Pembroke has increased from $234,000 to $354,000.
  • Petawawa has increased from $355,000 to $544,000.
  • Deep River has increased from $230,000 to $413,000.
  • Eganville/Bonnechere Valley has increased from $274,000 to $514,000.
  • Greater Madawaska and the Calabogie area have seen housing increase from the five-year average of $421,000 to $863,000.

The rising cost of housing and the steady increase to the Canadian prime rate means homes are remaining on the active listings for a longer time.

Active residential listings numbered 373 units on the market at the end of August, a sizable gain of 18.8 per cent from the end of August 2021.

Active listings were 31.6 per cent below the five year average and 57.8 per cent below the 10-year average for the month of August.

Months of inventory numbered 2.5 at the end of August 2022, up from the 1.7 months recorded at the end of August 2021 and below the long-run average of 5.8 months for this time of year. The number of months of inventory is the number of months it would take to sell current inventories at the current rate of sales activity.

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