How To Buy Your Dream Home in 2024: A Look at the Ottawa Real Estate Market!

The Ottawa Real Estate Market is expected to pick up starting this Spring through until the end of the year. So, if you were thinking about buying a home in Ottawa this year, you might want to spring into action before everyone else does.

Home buyers in Ottawa, and across Canada, have been on the sidelines for much of the last year. When the Bank of Canada’s overnight lending rate hit 4.50% in January 2023, it made buyers second guess the market. 

By the end of 2023, the bank’s prime lending rate sat at 7.20%. For comparison, in April 2022 the prime lending rate was just 3.20% and in March 2020 it sat at 2.45%.

Despite the rising interest rates and declining buyers, prices remained more or less unchanged across Canada. In fact, Nationally we saw a 4.3% year-over-year increase in home prices and in Ottawa, we saw a 4.8% year-over-year increase indicating that interest rate hikes weren’t quite having the intended effect of slowing the rise of housing prices.

Buyers, however, have lost confidence in the market and question whether the prices today actually reflect the value of properties and if real estate is a sound investment. This sentiment has created a large number of people who are intently watching the market, ready to pounce when they think prices are fair.

If you want to buy a home this year, stop watching from the sidelines & enter the Ottawa real estate market.

Real estate market updates are lagging indicators which means that once you hear that prices are lower or there’s less competition on the market, it likely already passed and the lowest price has already been missed.

We say this all the time because a lot of people get stuck in the habit of watching the market and trying to time their buy perfectly to get the best price. Instead, what usually happens is the watchers miss their opportunity and continue to wait until another opportunity comes and goes again.

Here are a few things we ask our clients when they’re unsure if it’s the right time to buy for them:

  • With your budget, can you buy a home that will suit your current needs?
  • What would your housing option be if you don’t buy now?
  • How long do you plan to hold onto your home if you do buy now?

These questions help us understand what your real estate goals are and what you would be sacrificing in the short term while you wait.

If your current budget doesn’t allow you to purchase a property that meets your current needs, you may have no choice but to wait. As a potential buyer, you need to be realistic about what those needs are. If you’re a first time buyer, you may not be looking for your forever home just yet.

If you don’t buy now, will you be renting instead? If so, how much money will you spend on rent in the short term that you will never get back? Is that greater than the amount you could save if you time the market right? A lot of people forget that there are costs associated with waiting out the market and you have to decide whether it’s worth the wait.

Lastly, how long do you plan to hold onto this real estate investment? If you’re a house flipper or investor, then maybe it’s not a great time to buy because you’d have to hold your property for a long period to make considerable gains. If you’re looking to live in this home for the next 5 to 10 years, you’ll very likely grow your equity in that time period and sell at a profit.

For personalized advice from our team of experts, reach out to us!

Why should buyers get off the sidelines now? Predictions for 2024 real estate.

We’re expecting to see market activity spike in the Spring as the Bank of Canada is expected to make cuts to the overnight lending rate. While these cuts could be as small as 25 basis points, it’s expected to cause a flurry of activity as it ignites hope in home buyers. An increase in demand will put upward pressure on prices, as Canada continues to struggle with housing supply and the best time to buy will have come and gone. Sellers who have been reluctant to list their homes will see the demand and bring their properties to market with greater expectations when it comes to price because of increased competition.

“I believe the narrative suggesting that the housing market will rebound only when the Bank of Canada lowers rates misses the mark. The recovery will begin when consumers have confidence the home they buy today will not be worth less tomorrow. We see that tipping point occurring in the first quarter, before the highly anticipated easing of the Bank of Canada’s key lending rate.” 

– Phil Soper, president and CEO of Royal LePage. 

By the fourth quarter of this year, we expect to see a 5.5% increase in home prices compared to Q4 2023.

Ottawa home buyers should jump into the market now.

Before things heat up at the end of Q1 2024 and continue to stay hot through the end of the year, potential home buyers in Ottawa should get off the sidelines and get into the market before everyone else decides to join them.

If you’re hoping to buy this year, reach out to us! We love helping our clients find the home that suits their needs, on budget and in record time. Even if you’re not sure if entering the market is the right decision for you, we can answer any questions you might have and direct you to local mortgage professionals to help you understand your budget.

Our team is always ready to help you find your dream home in Ottawa! Contact Us.