Question of the week:

How are people finding the spring market?

Looking to gauge people’s buying and selling experiences and see what industry experts are seeing. TIA!

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Nick's Response

Anecdotally, it seems like we’ve returned to something that feels like the long-term “normal” trend for Ottawa, that being slow, steady growth both in terms of numbers of homes sold and prices. As always, that trend is not evenly distributed across the city or types of home. Stats seem to back up what my team and I are noticing with our own clients. Check out Karim’s excellent blog post for our newsletter or our YouTube market updates for more context.


With the huge increase in average prices from five years ago along with interest rates that are higher than they were then, the first couple of “cohorts” of buyers (first-time homebuyers and those moving to their next home) are often competing for the same homes. The Buyer specialists on my team are reporting that their clients are having to move much more quickly on homes of interest than even a couple of months ago, and we’re seeing more multiple offer situations (though nothing like peak Covid market). Most of the time, though, homebuyers are able to secure a purchase with conditions and under asking price.


 Although no one is happy (especially first-time homebuyers) that interest rates are higher than they were in Covid, there seems to be an adjustment to this “normal” by homebuyers and many of our clients who were waiting through much of last year are getting off of the sidelines. If the Bank of Canada lowers the overnight rate (they just announced another hold at current rates) slightly there may be even more that jump in, but it will largely be due to the psychological effect of the lower rate and less so than any huge increase in purchasing power.


On the listing side, things feel a lot more like they were in 2018-19 and earlier. Appropriately priced homes are selling within 30-45 days and within 97-100% of list price. I’m managing expectations for Seller clients that their home will need to be appropriately prepared for the market to stand out, and that “event” pricing (pricing artificially low like many homes were during Covid) has a high probability of backfiring. My team is even getting the occasional homeowner who bought in Peak Covid (not with our team) who now needs/wants to move again and is coming to grips with taking a bit of a loss to do so.


Overall, my team is finding that we’re much more busy than at the same time last year with active clients, and I’m hearing the same from our more professional colleagues. Many of the part-time Realtors are struggling and leaving the industry, which may be a good thing for the average level of client service.

3 Tips for moving in Spring 2024


Buyers – Negotiate – Although it’s technically a Seller’s market (defined by the rate of home sales versus those available, called months of inventory), Sellers are generally accepting offers with conditions. Use these to protect yourself, and use comparables to “buy right” so that you don’t lose money in the future.


Sellers – There’s no one “market.” – Some segments of the market and neighbourhoods are hot Sellers’ market. Others are markedly colder. Make data-driven decisions when listing (that’s what we’re here for) and manage expectations.


Tenants – Get off on the right foot with potential landlords – It is tough to get a rental at a good price these days. Maximise your chances with a clean, typed application, a credit check done in advance and references that are easy to reach. Stand out in a good way. Did you know that a Realtor can help you find a rental? Yep, and we’re great at coaching our clients so that they make a great first impression.

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