The head of the Ottawa Real Estate Board (OREB) says the inventory of residential properties is the lowest he has seen in several decades and could lead to supply shortages and increased housing prices.
OREB, which represents more than 3,000 real estate professionals in the Ottawa area, released February sales figures today.
"Right now just about every agent in the city has somebody looking to buy, but we can't find what they're looking for because our inventories are low," said OREB president Ralph Shaw
Shaw says it's a problem not just in the city, but in smaller centres like Arnprior, Almonte and Casselman.
In February, members of OREB sold 979 residential properties through its Multiple Listing Service System compared to 1,002 a year ago - a 2.3 per cent decrease.
The five-year average for February sales is 922 residential properties. Since the start of 2018, agents have sold 50 fewer homes and condos than this time last year.
"There is no doubt our sales numbers would have been much higher if we had more properties available for sale. This is creating a supply issue in the Ottawa real estate market," said Shaw.
"If this trend continues, the market will move to favour sellers, and buyers will find themselves competing for a limited number of listings."