The average price for residential properties sold through the Multiple Listing Service climbed a relatively modest 3.1 per cent year over year to $433,700 while condominiums fetched an average of $276,700, up 2.2 per cent from August 2017, according to a survey of realtors by the Ottawa Real Estate Board.

For residential properties, it was the lowest monthly increase since February. Year-over-year changes in condominium prices have been all over the map this year, ranging from a decline of 8.6 per cent in January to a rise of 5.6 per cent in February.

The relative easing of prices overall in August will be a relief for those entering the housing market. Nevertheless, the dip in growth is something of a surprise in light of declining inventories, which would normally push prices up. The board reported there were 4,215 active listings for residential properties at the end of August, 15.9 per cent fewer than a year earlier. Over the same period the number of condominiums listed were 1,476 — down 25.2 per cent.

 Realtors sold nearly 1,200 residential properties in August and roughly 400 condominiums. Prior to sale, residential properties were on the market an average of 42 days compared with 44 days a year earlier, while condos took 50 days to sell, down from 64 days in August 2017.

Board president Ralph Shaw said Ottawa house prices have been somewhat constrained because buyers can still find “reasonably-priced” homes within a 30-minute commute of downtown across most points of the compass.

 - Article written by James Bagnall, Ottawa Citizen.