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Several factors have combined to keep upward pressure on prices. Historically low interest rates have helped to reduce the cost of servicing mortgages, while COVID-19 has prompted many buyers to shell out considerable sums for properties with the right characteristics: most notably plenty of square footage for home offices or sufficient acreage to offer privacy. When Ontario imposed tighter public health restrictions in mid-January, many homeowners who had been tempted to sell changed their minds, thus reducing the properties available for sale. That, too, pushed up prices for listed homes.
The sharp rise in the number of sub-districts reporting average sales in excess of $1 million takes some getting used to in a market that just three years ago saw house prices average what now seems a modest $425,000. Until recently, the million-dollar properties were confined to predictable areas such as Rockcliffe Park, Rothwell Heights and the Glebe. But now these kinds of transactions are popping up all across the city from Greely in the southeast to the northeast quadrant of Kanata.
There were also three sales featuring million-dollar properties in the surrounding Valley: in Russell Township, Rideau Lakes and Lanark Highlands. Indeed, the price surge in general was even more pronounced in the Valley last month than within Ottawa.
Of 674 residential resales recorded in January for greater Ottawa, 178 were notched by agents covering rural districts in the Ottawa Valley. The average Valley property in January sold for a shade less than $500,000. That was a stunning 42 per cent gain year over year.
The rural districts with the biggest price rises were: Cornwall, Morrisburg and area (average price of a modest $389,000 — up nearly 68 per cent); and Rideau Lakes, Westport and area, where residential properties sold for an average $566,400 in January, up nearly 61 per cent.
Average prices in January ranged from $310,700 in the east (down 15 per cent year over year) to $456,000 in the downtown core (down five per cent). Offsetting these declines, condos in the south end recorded a price jump of 29 per cent to $365,000. West end condos saw price gains of 10 per cent for a new average of more than $378,000.
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