Resale prices for Ottawa homes show modest rise

Ottawa house prices grow steadily, with the odd bidding war, but nothing like the "insane" growth being seen in the overheated Greater Toronto Area, according to the latest real estate figures.

Average price of a 2-storey home in Ottawa was $437,247

Royal LePage says GTA prices significantly outpaced the rest of the country. (Darren Calabrese/Canadian Press)

While big city real estate markets like Toronto and Vancouver continue to overheat, Ottawa's housing market has enjoyed milder growth.

The price of a two-storey home in Ottawa rose 5.6 per cent over the same time last year, according to the latest house pricing survey from Royal LePage.

The median price of $437,247 for a two-storey home in Ottawa paled compared to the national numbers, where the median prices for similar homes shot up 13.9 per cent to $681,728.

Toronto bears some of the blame for that rise, as the Royal LePage survey notes the Greater Toronto Area has overtaken Vancouver as the most overheated housing market in the country.

Ottawa broker John Rogan said Ottawa showed healthy growth for the first three months of 2017, and more bidding wars than usual, but not because it's experiencing any spillover from the overheated Greater Toronto Area, a market he describes as "insane."
'Ottawa doesn't have the big peaks and the big valleys,' said Royal LePage broker of record John Rogan. (CBC)

"The Toronto market would be an impossible market to work in," said Rogan. "It's not a good market for anyone when you get prices like that. Maybe an opportunist that sells their house who takes their money and buries it in a suitcase, or something."

Ottawa avoids big peaks or valleys

These latest numbers came out the same day that the federal and Ontario finance ministers met with Toronto's mayor about how to rein in the GTA's hot market.

The survey also broke out price changes for various housing types, and found the median price of a bungalow in Ottawa rose 6.9 per cent to $411,375 and the median price of a condo went up three per cent to $324,455.

The Canadian Real Estate Association, meanwhile, reported its latest monthly statistics Tuesday, saying home prices climbed a modest four per cent in Ottawa from this time last year, to $345,000 on average.

Ottawa, he says, "doesn't have the big peaks or the big valleys," in part because of the steadying influence of having such a larger federal public service.

Rogan said he has consulted agents and not heard of people trying to cash out of the Toronto market to buy in Ottawa 

Instead, Rogan said Ottawa's steady growth and bidding wars can be attributing to there being fewer homes on the market, which is putting pressure on prices.

with files from Omar Dabaghi-Pacheco