Bidding wars and scant supply: Ottawa housing market finds itself ‘listings-starved’

Ottawa Citizen

James Bagnall

Published on: March 6, 2018

Ottawa’s real-estate market is becoming so tight that many homeowners are refusing to put their properties up for sale until they can be assured they’ve got someplace else to go.

How starved? The Ottawa Real Estate Board reported Monday that there were just 3,028 residential properties for sale at the end of February, along with 1,064 condominiums. That was down 21 per cent and 26 per cent, respectively, from a year earlier. Board data draws upon sales made by more than 3,000 sales representatives and real estate brokers. It does not include purchases of brand new homes.

Rushforth estimates that roughly half of his firm’s sales are the product of bidding wars. He cites the recent example of a Barrhaven townhouse that received 30 offers before it finally sold at $33,000 over the $299,000 asking price.

The result of all this activity has been to push up prices — most notably in the hottest corridors to the west and east of the downtown core, along the Ottawa River.

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