Key-Move Realty Ltd.

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 WINNIPEG — July sales activity decreased 4% from July 2017 and was off only 2% from the 5-year average for this month. If you remove the exceptional record-setting month of July 2014 which was close to 1,500 sales, the 1,376 sales transacted this July are less than 1% behind the average sales activity for this month. July 2017 was the second best July on record at 1,438 sales.

The narrow range in percentage terms of sales activity between this year and the 5 –year average for all MLS® sales in July is also exemplified in the two closely followed property types of residential-detached and condominiums. The 1,006 residential-detached sales in July decreased 2% from the 5-year average of 1,030 sales while the 176 condominium sales are just short of the 5-year average of 180 sales.

“We need to keep perspective from month-to-month and even year-to-year that despite what appears sometimes as drop off in sales activity or elevated sales in other instances, our local market remains very stable and resilient to wide fluctuations,” said Chris Dudeck, president of WinnipegREALTORS®. “Our home sale prices as well show a high degree of consistency and this is in part attributable to an economy that is one of the most diversified and stable in Canada.”

One property type which did shine in July was single-attached. It is another affordable housing option for buyers to consider when making their purchasing decision. Single-attached sales in July were up 44% over July 2017 and have increased 3% over the first seven months of 2018 in comparison to the same period last year.

Both new listings being entered on the market in July and the inventory at the end of the month are up over 8%. There are 5,278 MLS® listings available for sale in August.

Year-to-date sales activity is down less than 7% from the same period last year with sales of 7,944 while dollar volume of nearly $2.4 billion is 5% off last year’s record-setting pace.

 Price range sales activity for residential-detached properties in July shows the $250,000 to $299,999 price range has the highest percentage of total sales at 19% with the next higher and lower price ranges of $300,000 to $349,999 and $200,000 to $249,999 placing second at 16% each. There is still a wide disparity in the highest and lowest price sales price at $1,665,000 and $38,500 respectively.

Condominium price range sales activity in July shows double-digit price range sales percentages in price ranges from $100,000 to $349,999. The most active price range remains the $150,000 to $199,999 at 29% however not far behind is the $200,000 to $249,999 one at 23%. The highest condo sale price in July was $964,950 with a condo unit selling for $99,000 at the other end of the price spectrum.

“It is evident from looking at the many price ranges, and the significant difference from the lowest to highest sales price, that there are considerable options to choose from with over 5,000 MLS® listings available,” said Dudeck. “The month of August has become one of the more active real estate months for sales, so we can expect many buyers to take advantage of what lies before them.”

An interesting milestone for Manitoba has been noted in the Manitoba Economic Highlights report released monthly by Manitoba Finance. It says that in 2017 the working age population (15-64) went over one million persons for the first time. This growing labour pool enables Manitoba business to draw from it to create more jobs which in turn drive housing purchases and significant economic spin-offs from them.

The latest 2017 Altus Group Report prepared for the Canadian Real Estate Association shows for every MLS® sale in Manitoba, $52,500 is generated in additional economic activity. Direct and indirect employment also results from the purchase and sale of MLS® listings.

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WINNIPEG - June sales activity outperformed May this year and usually it is the other way around. This helps explain adjustments that are going on within the local market to account for more stringent mortgage qualifications based on higher interest rates and the federal stress test.

June sales of 1,547 decreased 5% over June 2017 and 1% over the 5-year average for this month.  Listing activity for June increased 1% over the same month last year while the current inventory of 5,206 at month end was up 6%.

June dollar volume of $473 million is down 3% over June 2017 and ahead of all other previous months of June including the best June on record in 2016 of 1,638 sales. 

Year-to-date sales activity for the first six months is down 7% in comparison to the same period in 2017 and 2016 but off only 2% from the 5-year average.  Year-to- date dollar volume of close to $2 billion dipped 2% from the same period last year and 1% from the record- setting year of 2016.

“There is no question the federal stress test is suppressing our local market this year,” said Chris Dudeck, president of WinnipegREALTORS®. “However the impact is concentrated far more on the first-time buyers’ market and some buyers looking to move up and purchase their second property.”

In June alone, residential-detached sales under $300,000 decreased 19% over June 2017 while sales over $300,000 showed a 4% gain.

The same can be said for condominiums where very active sales areas like Osborne Village are seeing a noticeable drop in sales for the first six months this year compared to the same period in 2017.

Another indicator of less sales activity in the first half of this year is when you observe the percentage of listings entered on the market that have been sold. Residential-detached listings had a drop in percentage of listings sold from 61% to 56% while condominiums  has gone from 44% of listings sold in 2017 to 40% this year.

As for the properties which are selling this year, average days to sell is slightly better with the average days to sell a residential-detached property at 27 days instead of 28 in 2017. Similarly, the average days to sell a condo is one day quicker in 2018 at 42 days.

There are some clear differences however between residential-detached and condominiums at the half-way point this year. They include listings selling for above list price, the average year-to-date sales price and supply of listings available for sale.

The supply of condo listings relative to monthly demand is over five and one-half months whereas residential-detached is less than two and one-half months.

The number of residential-detached listings selling for above list price for the first six months is 25% while for condominiums it is 9%. The average year-to-date residential –detached sales price is $325,314, a 2% increase over the same period in 2017. For condominiums, its year-to-date average sales price is $240,873, a decrease of less than 1% in comparison to 2017.

Speaking of average sale prices, the chart below shows how the various MLS® zones within Winnipeg and the rural one outside the city are doing this year in comparison to 2017.
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WINNIPEG - May sales were down from the best May and month on record in 2017 when close to 1,700 transactions were processed on WinnipegREALTORS® MLS®.  The 1,510 sales recorded in May 2018 decreased 11% from the same month last year and are down 4% from May’s 5-year average sales numbers and 1% from the 10-year average. Dollar volume of $458.4 million decreased 8% from May 2017.

New listings coming on the market in May decreased less than 2% while inventory at the end of the month increased 3% to 5,103 listings. When broken down into the two main property types of residential-detached and condominiums, inventory sits at 2,750 and 973 respectively. If no new listings were to come on the market this inventory would run out in roughly two and one-half months for residential-detached properties and  five months for condominiums.

“While you cannot hit home runs every year, there are some headwinds facing the market this May that were not in play last year, “said Chris Dudeck, president of WinnipegREALTORS®. “Higher lending rates in tandem with more stringent mortgage qualifying requirements are dampening demand even in our more affordable housing market.  There was also a pull-forward in the spring of 2017 of new residential-detached, condominiums, single-attached and town house property type sales to avoid paying City of Winnipeg impact fees.”

Year-to-date sales of 5,021 are down less than 8% from the two busiest years on record in 2016 and 2017 but slightly ahead of the previous three years from 2013 to 2015. Dollar volume of $1.488 billion is 6% off last year’s $1.58 billion total.

Despite some slowdown in market activity in May and year-to-date, there are positive indicators to report on in May.

Average days to sell in May for residential-detached and condominiums properties were less than four and five weeks respectively. Sales of homes in the $300,000 to $349,999 price range were particularly fast-paced with average days to sell of only 16 days. Condominiums, predominantly new units, sold on average in 17 days in the $350,000 to $399,999 price range.

The average sales price in May in comparison to May 2017 was up modestly too for both residential-detached and condominiums.

An indicator of demand outstripping supply for residential-detached sales for certain MLS® areas was the number of homes selling for above list price reached 28%, a 2 percentage point increase from May 2017.

This reality is borne out by a number of neighbourhoods dispersed throughout Winnipeg which had sales numbers exceeding the number of listings remaining for sale at the end of the month. The same situation does not exist for condominiums with just 9% of condominiums in May selling for above list price. There is a healthy supply of condominium listings available to choose from throughout the Winnipeg Metropolitan Region.

The overall absorption rate for MLS® listings going into June is less than 3 and one-half months however one area to watch for is the build-up in condominium inventory. Condominium inventory is up 10% from last year at close to 1,000 listings.

“Given how there has been more time for both mortgage lenders and buyers to adjust to the new mortgage rule requirements including an modest increase in the Bank of Canada’s five-year benchmark rate, I am hopeful June may be a catch up month and will usher in improved performance in sales activity,” said Dudeck. “It would not surprise me to see June edge out May in sales this year.”

 “ A professional REALTOR® is who you should be calling to find out what is your best recourse in terms of what you need to do in navigating our current real estate market”, said Marina R. James, CEO of WinnipegREALTORS®.
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WINNIPEG  -  April sales began to take off like our Winnipeg Jets.  Sales of 1,283 were more spring-like in numbers as only down 1% from last April and up nearly 2% over the 10-year average for this month.  New listings of 2,621 in April increased 7% from the same month last year while the existing inventory at month end of 4,550 was up nearly 4% over 2017.

MLS® dollar volume of nearly $390 million just edged out last year’s total. Year-to-date dollar volume climbed over $1 billion and is less than 5% off last year’s first four month total dollar volume. Year-to-date sales of 3,511 are down 6% from the same period in 2017.

April’s average residential-detached sales price was just under $330,000, a modest increase over April 2017. Helping elevate this average sales price was a home in East Fort Garry which sold above list price for $2.6 million and three other million dollar plus home sales in the Waverley West MLS® area.

The April condominium average sales price of $236,027 was down slightly from April 2017. Condo sales of 165 were ahead of last April’s total by 5%. The highest percentage increase of all MLS® property type sales in April was duplexes at 50%.

“Clearly market activity picked up in April to show once again how resilient the Winnipeg Metropolitan Region can be in the face of some adversity with new mortgage qualification rules in place as well as higher mortgage rates,” said Chris Dudeck, president of WinnipegREALTORS®. “A real enduring strength of our local market in the last few years has been its affordable prices with different options to choose from given overall balanced market conditions.”

A true test of this year’s return to more seasonal sales activity will be this month as last May had the highest monthly sales ever at just under 1,700 sales. Can it be a jet-fuelled month? Only time will tell but there are positive signs as a result of solid market metrics in April.

While there are more listings on the market going into May than there were last year this does not mean they are all evenly distributed amongst varying property types and areas within the Winnipeg Metropolitan Region.  Residential-detached listings of nearly 2,400 lean towards tighter market conditions based on expected strong sales the next few months and condominium listings of almost 900 show a more elevated inventory and more opportunities for buyers to with longer days on market to sell and greater selection available.

One clear difference too between these main property types is the percentage of listings selling for above list price in April. 28% of residential-detached properties sold for above list price compared to 9% for condominiums.

As the market  gets busy at this time of year you need to be contacting a REALTOR® to make sure you are well positioned if selling your property, and if buying, prequalified and ready to make an offer if the right property is listed in your preferred area,” said Marina James, CEO of WinnipegREALTORS®

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WININIPEG – Sales in March resulted in a slower first quarter especially in comparison to the two best years on record in 2016 and 2017.  Sales of 2,228 are down over 8% from the first 3 months in 2017, and 4% over the 10-year average.  March sales of 974 decreased 12% from March 2017, and 5% over the 10-year average. March new listings at just under 2,100 were down to a lesser extent at 5%.

Current inventory of MLS® listings going into the second quarter is almost identical to last year. It sits around 3,900 listings with a modest percentage gain of residential-detached listings available while condominium listings slipped slightly.

It is fair to say while market fundamentals are firmly in place in the local market, new mortgage rules combined with higher mortgage rates in the last year have made it more difficult for some buyers to purchase their desired property. This not only applies to first-time buyers, but to existing home owners who instead of listing their property have decided to stay put as the tougher qualifying environment keeps them from moving ahead with a new purchase.

As in other real estate markets across the country, strong year-end sales within the Winnipeg Metropolitan Region in November and December in advance of the January 1, 2018 new stress test on uninsured mortgages would have had a pull-forward effect on sales happening this first quarter.

Of course you can never discount mother- nature either as March has been unseasonably cold and did nothing to motivate buyers to kick start the spring market.

“The second quarter is by far the busiest quarter of the year and it will truly tell the story if the slow first quarter start is just that,” said Chris Dudeck, president of WinnipegREALTORS®.  “We need to see if April regains some of the market momentum lost in the first quarter.”

Further analysis of both residential-detached and condominium properties provide a few observations.

While condominiums saw sales drop 14% in the first quarter, they are only 1% below the 10-year average.  The average sales price of $240,740 was less than 2% below the more active first quarter of 2017.

Residential-detached, the most expensive property type class and one most vulnerable to recent policy-related moves to slow down the housing market, experienced an 11% decline over  the 2017 first quarter, and a 7% drop off in same period sales over the 10-year average.  The average sales price was higher however at $327,959 compared to $319,549, up nearly 3%, and the average days to sell was 29 versus 27 in 2017.

It is also worth noting the ratio of total sales price, to total list price, edged up to 99% in the month of March.  This high percentage ratio can be attributed in part to a number of MLS® areas seeing whatever listings they had available sell quickly.

“ The majority of MLS® areas which experienced the biggest decrease in residential-detached sales compared to last year were in the more affordable price ranges and often had a corresponding drop off in available listings,” said Dudeck.

This same pattern was less apparent with condominiums which had more of an issue with less listings being sold compared to last year.

“As this first quarter demonstrates, changes occur within property types, price ranges and areas throughout the market region, “said Marina James, CEO of WinnipegREALTORS®.  You need to be calling a REALTOR® to advise you on your best course of action.”
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WINNIPEG - It was an off month for WinnipegREALTORS® as February sales of 683 declined 11% from the same month last year and 10% over the 10-year average for February.  Year-to-date sales of 1,250 are 5% off the pace set in 2017 when there were 1,327 sales. Year-to-date dollar volume worth $352 million in real estate transactions is also down 5% from the same period last year.

When comparing MLS® listings to last year, overall supply is not the issue as the inventory at the end of February of just under 3,400 is equivalent to 2017. New listings coming on the market for residential-detached and condominium properties in February were not markedly different either from February 2017.

Simply put, buyers were less active than last year.  Sales fell short in the two main property types – residential-detached and condominiums. While condominium sales decreased 16%, the 102 sales transacted are above the 10-year average by 8%. Residential-detached sales, on the other hand, were below the 10-year average by 10% and 11% in comparison to February 2017.

There is no one reason why residential-detached sales saw a drop off in activity.  One MLS® area in particular was down markedly from 2017 because of a lack of listings, where other MLS® areas experienced a noticeable drop off in sales compared to available listings.

As for the distribution of sales throughout the entire residential-detached price range spectrum, the tilt in percentage of sales activity favoured the higher price ranges above $300,000. This was even more accentuated for condominium sales activity in higher price ranges. The usually dominant $150,000 to $199,999 price range dropped in total sales percentage from 36% in 2017 to 19% this year.

“A disappointing sales result but still too early in year to draw any firm conclusions,” said WinnipegREALTORS® president Chris Dudeck. “Based on an increase in higher end price range sales activity in relation to lower price ranges compared to last February the new stress test on insured mortgages (came into effect on January 1, 2018)  does not appear to be a leading cause of slower sales activity.”

It is also worth noting, residential-detached properties which did sell in February, actually sold faster in 2018 than 2017. The average days to sell was 32 days, 2 days quicker than February 2017, while average days to sell a condo was the same as February 2017 at 45 days.

One thing that is clear, with tougher qualifying requirements for both insured and uninsured mortgages this year, and higher mortgage rates, buyers should be proactive in getting pre-approvals so that when they are ready to purchase a home they are qualified to buy.

This week the Bank of Canada held its benchmark interest rate at 1.25 per cent, though one more hike is expected this year. Lingering trade issues including concerns over NAFTA may well push back another rate hike until later in 2018. The Bank of Canada is also assessing the housing market as part of their rate-tightening plan given softer sales activity this year.

“All markets are local and activity within the various property types behaves differently depending on the price range and area,” said Marina R. James, CEO of WinnipegREALTORS®. “You are always best advised to contact a professional REALTOR® to determine a suitable course of action for your own needs.”

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WINNIPEG - It is often said that Winnipeg’s real estate market is steady and stable. January exemplified this description by delivering a repeat performance from January 2017. It was uncannily similar in total MLS® sales, active and current listings, and dollar volume.

MLS® sales of 571 and dollar volume of $156 million are both up less than 2% over January 2017. The inventory of 3,096 listings is almost identical to 2017 and current listings entered onto MLS® in January were just under 1,500 in comparison to 1,502 last year.

“Too early to tell how much impact the new stress test effective January 1, 2018 on uninsured mortgages will have on the local market,” said Chris Dudeck, president of WinnipegREALTORS®.  “And we should not forget that the stress test on insured mortgages in late 2016 will still be a factor in 2018.”

When you look closely at the MLS® property types a few differences emerge.  The inclement weather may in fact have something to do with slower rural sales activity in residential-detached sales as they were down 12% in comparison to January 2017. Condominiums which had a strong start in 2017 were not quite as robust this year, though in line with the 5-year average of 90 sales.

Other property types made up for slower residential-detached and condo sales with some significant double-digit increases over January 2017. Of note were duplex sales increasing 44%, single-attached sales up 35%, and vacant land transactions rising 53%.

“This is the first full calendar year where City of Winnipeg impact fees apply so it will be interesting to watch and compare if vacant land sales continue to increase as the majority of WinnipegREALTORS® vacant land inventory is outside the city of Winnipeg in the rural municipalities,” said Dudeck. ““He added only 3 of the 26 vacant land sales were in Winnipeg.”

“REALTORS® know market conditions as they see what is transpiring every day in the market” said Marina R. James, CEO of WinnipegREALTORS®. “You need to be contacting a REALTOR®. They can assist your own individual needs based on the property type you own or may be interested in buying.”

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WINNIPEG - A solid result in December of 635 MLS® unit sales and a dollar volume over $179 million capped off a successful year in 2017.

Actual percentage differences in comparison to December 2016 were relatively modest but positive with sales up 3%, dollar volume rising 7% and listings increasing 8%. All MLS® property types performed exceptionally well in December with only residential-detached experiencing a drop of 8% in sales. A total MLS® inventory of 2,851 listings is available for sale as 2018 begins. 

2017 finished up strong with a total of 13,525 sales, down less than 1% from the record year of 2016 where 13,632 sales were transacted. A new annual dollar volume record was set in 2017 with $3.92 billion worth of MLS® sales – an increase of close to 4% in comparison to 2016.

When asked for his insight on 2017, outgoing WinnipegREALTORS® president Blair Sonnichsen said, “Considering tougher mortgage qualification requirements were in effect for insured mortgages, two Bank of Canada interest rate increases were brought in, and impact fees were imposed by the City of Winnipeg on new residential development, we are particularly pleased with our MLS® market performance. This indicates to me our REALTORS® worked diligently with mortgage brokers and financial institutions to overcome any challenges clients may have encountered in this regard. REALTORS® as a result were able to conclude nearly as many sales as they did in our record year of 2016.”

A byproduct of 2017 which has been noted before, is the many affordable options available to buyers in the WinnipegREALTORS® market region. It became very apparent early on in 2017 that buyers were making adjustments within certain property type categories or between them to attain their dream of acquiring a place to call home.

“Within the many neighbourhoods of Winnipeg or the outlying rural municipalities in the capital region, buyers made informed choices and took advantage of one of the most affordable residential real estate markets in the country, “said Sonnichsen.

2017 was a year where stronger move up market activity helped offset some drop off in the first-time buyer price ranges for single family homes. One clear example of higher end sales gaining ground over 2016 was the fact there were 45 million dollar plus homes sold in comparison to 30 in 2016. Even condominiums saw a spike in million dollar plus sales with 6 compared to none in 2016.

More move up sales activity in 2017 was a contributing factor in lifting the annual average sale price upward for both residential-detached and condominium property types. The residential-detached average sale price went from $302,726 in 2016 to $315,720 in 2017. The condominium average sale price rose over $9,000 to $244,687 in 2017.

Residential-detached average sale prices for the MLS® zones of Winnipeg and rural municipalities outside the city show price gains over 2016 with only Winnipeg North decreasing slightly.The southwest zone eclipsed an average sale price of $400,000 in 2017 for the first time. When you have over 300 sales in one MLS® area (Waverley West) in this zone having an average sale price of $546,664 you know it will skew the entire zone’s average sale price higher. This MLS® zone also includes Tuxedo which had an average sale price of $853,378.

Speaking of residential-detached sales in 2017, despite the sales gains noted in higher price ranges, over half of all sales still occur under $300,000 with the busiest price range from $250,000 to $299,999 commanding a total market share of 21%. It is worth noting the $300,000 to $349,999 price range for the first time in 2017 supplanted the $200,000 to $249,999 price range as the second most active price range. The average days on market to sell a home in 2017 was 29 days, 2 days quicker than 2016.

The highest sale price for homes was $2,460,000 with the lowest selling for only $10,000.The most active price range for condominium sales in 2017 was from $150,000 to $199,999 at 28% of total sales. Another 35% of condo sales occurred fairly evenly in the next two higher price ranges from $200,000 to $249,999 and $250,000 to $299,999. The average days on market to sell a condo in 2017 was 43 days, 4 days quicker than 2016.

The highest sale price for condominiums was $1,575,000 while the lowest was $42,000.Some other property types did not take a backseat to residential-detached and condominiums in 2017. In fact they outperformed them in terms of sales increases over 2016.

Single-attached properties had a double-digit increase of 12% to finish at 537 sales and a 4% market share. Town houses showed the largest sales increase of them all at 19% while commercial jumped 8%. Residential-detached sales were actually down 2% from 2016 and condominiums which started off the year with high monthly percentage gains over 2016 finished up with an increase under 3%. Condominium sales were only 9 sales short of the annual record set in 2014 when 1,798 sales were transacted on WinnipegREALTORS®’ MLS®.

 “What these different property type outcomes illustrate is how important it is to consult with a REALTOR® - your local market expert – on what is happening with respect to your specific property type and how you need to navigate the market to get the best results,” said Marina R. James, CEO of WinnipegREALTORS®.

WinnipegREALTORS® will get into more detail with analysis and explanation of what happened in 2017 when it hosts its 12th Annual Forecast breakfast on February 7, 2018. It will also look ahead to what it expects to happen in 2018 with new federal mortgage lending guidelines, the potential of more Bank of Canada interest rate increases and municipal elections.

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WINNIPEG - If you are going to duplicate a month’s sales activity, do it when it is a good one and that was the case in November. MLS®sales of 878 units in November were one sale higher than November 2016 and 4% above the 10-year average for this month. Only once in 2015 did November sales edge over 900, so not a big difference in sales.

 

A solid performance in November and year-to-date sales of 12,890 ensures 2017 will be no worse than second highest on record. 2016 was the best year ever with over 13,600 sales.

 

“A good rebound in November from a slower October sets up a terrific year end result,” said Blair Sonnichsen, president of WinnipegREALTORS®. “We are only down 1% in sales from our best year ever in 2016 and will establish a new dollar volume record of close to $4 billion.”

 

A highlight in November which has been observed throughout the year is the strength of the upper end market. There were 50 residential-detached sales of over $500,000 compared to 34 last November and 4 sold for over $1 million with one closing at $2 million. One condominium sold for $1,575,000.

 

As much as the two MLS® property types of residential-detached and condominium represent nearly 86% of total sales, the single-attached property type has emerged this year as a real solid performer with over 500 sales and 4% of total MLS® market share. In November unit sales were up 22% and year-to-date sales are ahead by 11%.

Balanced market conditions still prevail overall with over 4 months of listings available if there were no new listings added on to the MLS® system.

 

Condominium supply remains elevated in comparison to residential-detached. Based on slower condo sales in the upcoming months over 700 active condo listings equates to at least 7 months of supply. This difference is really borne out when you see in November 32% or nearly one out of every three active residential-detached listings sold to just 15% of the entire condominium inventory turning over.

MLS® area neighbourhoods such as Riverview, Crescentwood, River Heights, Wolseley, Southdale, Fort Garry, Linden Woods, Garden Grove and Harbourview South show depleted inventories in relation to residential-detached sales this year.

 

“Depending on the property type and area of the city or capital region you wish to live in, you need to be calling a REALTOR® to provide their knowledge and expertise on what your best course of action is based on current market conditions, especially due to financing,” said Marina R. James, CEO of WinnipegREALTORS®. “All real estate markets are local and vary within according to different market indicators.”

 

Commencing January 1, 2018, a new stress test comes into effect on Canadians making down payments of over 20 per cent and therefore not requiring mortgage insurance. It applies to all federally regulated financial institutions and requires the applicant to qualify for mortgage payments based on the greater of either the Bank of Canada’s five-year benchmark rate or their contract mortgage rate plus two percentage points.

 

Backing up WinnipegREALTORS® claim that it has one of the most affordable major real estate markets in the country is the percentage of sales it has under $300,000. In November 59% of residential-detached sales and 77% of condo sales were under $300,000. The busiest condominium price range at 26% of total sales was from $150,000 to $199,999.

 

Helping WinnipegREALTORS® achieve another very successful year of MLS® sales is Manitoba’s well diversified and stable economy,” said Peter Squire, Vice President of External Relations and Market Intelligence.

He noted the unemployment rate is averaging 5.4%, second lowest among provinces and employment has increased by nearly 10,000 in the first 11 months of 2017. Average weekly earnings increases of 2.4% as of September 2017 are also second among provinces.

 

The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by CREA and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA.

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WINNIPEG - October sales decreased 10% from October 2016 and were off 4% from the 10-year October average. The drop in sales activity was largely predominant in the residential-detached and condominium property types selling for under $300,000.

 

The sales decrease in part, was the result of being up against increased sales activity in early October 2016 because home buyers then wanted to maximize their buying power before the October 17th stress test came into effect on insured mortgages. The new qualification requirement meant applicants had to qualify for the five- year fixed term Bank of Canada rate of 4.64 per cent.

 

October sales of 1,023 pushed year-to-date sales over 12,000 – only the second time this has happened and just 1% off last year’s record-setting pace of over 12,100 sales. Year-to-date dollar volume is the highest it has ever been at nearly $3.5 billion, up over 3% from 2016. Based on slower sales and dollar volume activity in the last two months of the year dollar volume, will not reach the $4 billion benchmark level but another annual dollar volume record will be set.

 

“October sales results clearly showed how government intervention in to the real estate market has affected it”, said Blair Sonnichsen, president of WinnipegREALTORS®. “The first-time buyer market for residential-detached properties has been softer this year and conversely more affordable property types such as single attached and townhouses have performed better.”

 

Both single-attached and townhouse sales this year are well ahead of 2016 with percentage increases of 10% and 23% respectively. Residential-detached sales are down 2% for the first 10 months.

 

One offsetting factor to mitigate a higher percentage decline in residential-detached sales in 2017 compared to last year, as a result of tougher mortgage qualification requirements, is a stronger move-up market.

 

Two examples back this point up. In October the southwest MLS® zone which had an average residential-detached sale price of over $400,000 saw sales increase this October while all the other more affordably priced MLS® zones ,including the rural MLS® areas outside Winnipeg, were either seeing fewer sales or flat in residential-detached sales activity.

 

Another example of stronger move- up activity this year is the significant difference in million dollar plus sales compared to the previous three years. For the first ten months there have been 45 sales in total, 40 residential-detached sales and 5 condominium sales. This compares to a total of 27 in 2016 and 20 in both 2015 and 2014.

 

“Our market may experience move-up sales activity than normal until the end of 2017 given that The Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) just approved a new stress test on federally regulated mortgage lenders with respect to insured mortgages commencing January 1, 2018,” Sonnichsen said. “Similar to last year’s higher qualification requirement on insured mortgages which has heavily impacted first-time buyers, this new guideline will affect move-up buyers more and will limit their ability to qualify for higher-priced homes. They must meet the minimum qualifying rate for an uninsured mortgage which is the higher of either the five-year Bank of Canada rate or one that is 2 percentage points higher than their contractual mortgage rate.”

 

Helping some Manitobans feel confident about advancing their buying decision now before this new stress test kicks in is the recent good news of job gains for Manitoba. Statistics Canada reported the Manitoba economy added 4,000 new jobs in October and as a result had its unemployment rate drop to 5.2 per cent, second only to British Columbia at 4.9 per cent.

 

Further, October 2017 MLS® sales activity reported prevalent condominium sales in the under $200,000 price range. These sales represented 44% of total condo sales. In comparison sales under $200,000 for the residential-detached property type were 16%.

 

“Whatever price range you are looking to buy in, you need to be calling a REALTOR®- a market expert who will help you navigate the ever changing real estate environment and real estate financing” said Marina R. James, CEO of WinnipegREALTORS®.

 

Since 1903, WinnipegREALTORS® has assisted its members in achieving high levels of excellence in organized real estate by providing superior tools and services that enhance and build a vibrant real estate industry. Representing over 1,900 REALTORS® and other industry related professions active in the Winnipeg metropolitan area, WinnipegREALTORS® promotes the value of a REALTOR® and organized real estate. WinnipegREALTORS® provides its members with essential market information, professional development sessions, networking opportunities, marketing products, an effective industry voice and strong leadership to further their professional success.

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WINNIPEG - What stood out in August was the performance of the higher end of the market where residential-detached sales above $500,000 were up 32% over August 2016 and 7 sales eclipsed 1 million dollars in value. There were some other high end commercial sales with a motor inn and apartment complex each selling for over $1 million.


MLS® unit sales of 1,288 were down 5% from August 2016 - the best August on record. However sales in August were up nearly 6% over the 10-year average for the month of August. As a result of the upper end market performing so well and residential-detached sales under $300,000 down 35% from August 2016 MLS® dollar volume increased 4% to $378 million.

 

Year-to-date MLS® unit sales activity is marginally ahead of 2016 with a total of 9,796 sales. Dollar volume on the other hand has risen 5% over 2016 to $2.86 billion.

At the end of August inventory of 2,469 residential-detached properties is down 11% while condominium supply of 855 units is up 5% in comparison to the same time last year.

 

“August demonstrated demand and confidence in our local market remains strong by virtue of the strength of the upper end market,” said Blair Sonnichsen, president of WinnipegREALTORS®. “It also showed the higher stress test requirement on insured mortgages is preventing a number of buyers from achieving their dream of homeownership and in some instances keeping existing owners from making their next step to another home.”

He added,” With this week’s Bank of Canada interest rate increase to 1% and the federal government considering placing a new stress test on uninsured mortgages, it will make purchasing a home even more difficult for buyers.”

Simply put, the new stress test on uninsured mortgages will require low-risk borrowers to be approved at two percent above the rate offered to them by their lender.

 

WinnipegREALTORS® supports the Canadian Real Estate Association’s (CREA) position which is calling on the federal government to refrain from introducing any new additional measures to cool housing markets such as Winnipeg’s. When you include the most recent bank rate increase there have been nine changes to tighten mortgage finance in Canada since 2008.

 

As CREA states in its submission to the Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI), “We do not believe it is prudent to extend the stress test to uninsured mortgages until the market has had time to absorb and analyze the impact of the compounding effect of interest rate increases and the previously announced tightening measures.”

 

While 2017 has been tougher on first-time buyers in particular purchasing a residential-detached property, other property types have experienced gains this year due in part to them making alternative choices. Sales of condominiums, duplexes, resort properties and single-attached have all had single-digit percentage increases over the same period in 2016. Town house sales have risen the highest percentage at 11%. It should also be noted commercial property sales are up 9%.

 

“You need to be talking to your REALTOR® about the options available to you in our local real estate market, “said Marina James, CEO of WinnipegREALTORS®. “REALTORS® know the market and what alternative property types may be possible if your first choice is not attainable.”

 

The most active price range for residential-detached sales in August was from $250,000 to $299,999, 20% of total sales. Another 30% of sales were evenly split percentage-wise between the $200,000 to $249,999 and $300,000 to $349,999 price ranges. The highest priced residential-detached property sold was $1,700,000.

Condominium sales showed very similar percentage market share in the three price ranges from $150,000 to $299,999 with the lowest price range of $150,000 to $199,999 slightly ahead with 24% of total sales. The highest condo sales price was $439,900.

 

Established in 1903, WinnipegREALTORS® is a professional association representing just over 1,900 real estate brokers, salespeople, appraisers, and financial members active in the Greater Winnipeg Area real estate market. Its REALTOR® members adhere to a strict code of ethics and share a state-of-the-art Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) designed exclusively for REALTORS®. WinnipegREALTORS® serves its members by promoting the benefits of an organized real estate profession.

The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by CREA and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA.

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Winnipeg – After a solid first quarter of MLS® sales activity, April sales were more subdued. Unit sales of 1,300 were down 5% from a record April in 2016 but still up 2% over the 10-year average for this month.

MLS® dollar volume decreased 1% in April however for the first four months is up 2% to $1.08 billion. New MLS® listings in April fell 5% while the inventory or active listings at the end of April is down 7%.

The percentage of new listings being converted to sales is in line with April 2016 when the equivalent of over 53% of the 2,439 listings entered on the MLS® in April were sold.

The drop off in sales activity compared to April 2016 was most noticeable in the first-time buyer market segment. WinnipegREALTORS® has identified a concern regarding the new stress test on insured mortgages and its impact on buyer qualification

For residential-detached properties under $300,000 there was a 15% decrease in sales activity in comparison to last April. On the other hand upper price ranges in residential-detached outperformed April 2016.

There was also a decline in condominium sales in the price ranges from $150,000 to $249,999.

 “April is the kickoff to our spring market and first-time buyers are a driving force to generating sales activity,” said Blair Sonnichsen, president of WinnipegREALTORS®.  “We are now learning first-hand how tougher mortgage qualifications and higher insurance fees are making it more difficult for this buyer segment to purchase a home.”

Another new development this year which helped propel higher end sales was the City of Winnipeg’s impact fee which came into effect on May 1, 2017. There have already been 15 sales of homes valued over $1 million and six of those are new or to be built homes in the Waverley West MLS® area. It is clear buyers are advancing their plans to commit earlier this year to avoid paying the impact fee ($500 for every 100 square feet).

It is also apparent from examining April sales activity that vacant lots in rural municipalities benefited from the onset of higher fees in Winnipeg as there was a jump of 27% in vacant lot sales from April 2016. The vast majority of those are located outside Winnipeg.

 “Demand remains strong for MLS® listings,” said Sonnichsen. “The average days to sell for residential-detached and condominiums was better than last year’s record-setting April.”

In terms of residential-detached sales activity while the most active price range remained from $250,000 to $299,999 at 20% the next busiest from $300,000 to $349,999 was not far off at 16%.

The average days to sell a home in April was 25 days, one day quicker than the record-setting April 2016. The sales- to -list price ratio in April was 99.19%, an improvement from the 98.59% in April 2016.

Condominium sales continue to be most active in the $150,000 to $199,999 price range which represented 30% of total sales. Next busiest at 16% was the $200,000 to $249,999 price range. Average days to sell a condo in April was 40 days, one day quicker than April 2016.

“In an ever-changing real estate industry with new technology, regulations and market conditions, you need to be contacting a REALTOR® who can provide you with their professional advice and market expertise,” said Marina James, CEO of WinnipegREALTORS®.

 

Established in 1903, WinnipegREALTORS® is a professional association representing just over 1,850 real estate brokers, salespeople, appraisers, and financial members active in the Greater Winnipeg Area real estate market.  Its REALTOR® members adhere to a strict code of ethics and share a state-of-the-art Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) designed exclusively for REALTORS®. WinnipegREALTORS® serves its members by promoting the benefits of an organized real estate profession. 

The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by CREA and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA.

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WINNIPEG -  In March, 1,111 MLS® listed properties sold in the Greater Winnipeg market region, which is an increase of 5% over March 2016 and 8% over the 10-year average for this month. Dollar volume rose 10% to $326 million. This is the first time in March there has been over $300 million in MLS® sales transactions.

MLS® listings entered in March were right in line with last year at 2,200 though active listings or inventory of 3,903 listings going into April  is down  9% from 2016. This is largely due to a very active 2016 which left less listings carrying over into 2017.
 
Due to a good result in March where sales start to accelerate and are significantly higher than either of the first two months of the year, first quarter sales of 2,438 are in line with last year and 5% ahead of the 10-year average for the first three months. Dollar volume of close to $700 million is at its highest level ever for the first quarter and up over 4% from the same period in 2016.  
 
“Overall we are quite pleased with the MLS® first quarter sales results since they are only a few sales shy of last year’s same period total and we ended up recording our best year ever in 2016,” said Blair Sonnichsen, president of WinnipegREALTORS®. “The second quarter by far is our busiest and one we count on to put us in a good position to deliver solid year end numbers. The consistency and steadiness of our MLS® market over the past few years bodes well for strong sales numbers to continue.” 

“Helping give us more confidence going into the second quarter are Manitoba’s employment numbers,” said Peter Squire, MLS® market analyst.  “The recently released Statistics Canada labour force survey shows Manitoba’s March employment went up 2,800 jobs and the unemployment rate decreased 0.3 percentage points to 5.5 %. Only B.C. has a lower rate at 5.4%.”
 
Looking more closely at single family home sales in the first quarter in comparison to the same period in 2016 they are down less than 2% while condominiums are on a record setting pace with an increase of 18%. Condos may well be benefiting from their lower price point in comparison to single family homes as anyone requiring an insured mortgage with less than 20 per cent down must qualify for the higher Bank of Canada 4.64 % 5-year term rate.

“Condos are leading the way so far in marked sales increases compared to the first quarter in 2016,” said Sonnichsen.  “They have captured an additional 3 percentage points of total MLS® market share at the expense of single family or residential-detached sales”.

Another point worth noting with regard to March specifically is explaining why the average residential-detached selling price was just under $320,000, noticeably higher than the 2016 year- end average of $302,707. It was the result of what is called a compositional shift in sales activity where March had a real overweight in higher priced sales. For example, there was a 25% increase in sales over $350,000 and above compared to March 2016.

If you take the median price (mid-point of all sales) of residential-detached homes in March 2017 there is a far closer alignment to March 2016 - $285,500 versus $284,000. 

For the first three months this year the average residential-detached selling price is $307,977, a 2.4% increase over the same period in 2016. As for condominiums, the average selling price for the first quarter is $244,406, a 7.9% increase over first quarter 2016.

Residential-detached unit sales in March were more spread out amongst a number of price ranges with the highest at 18% of total sales from $250,000-$299,999 and the $200,000-$249,999 at 15%. A close third at 14% was from $350,000-$400,000. 

March condominium unit sales at nearly one in four sales were from $150,000-$199,999 however there were a number of price ranges with sales activity in the teens.  Amongst them, the $250,000-$299,999 was highest at 18%.
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Condominium Sales Continue Double-Digit Increase Over 2016

 

WINNIPEG - True to form February MLS® market activity marked another solid result in sales which were 4% above the 10-year average for this winter month. So being down 6% from February 2016 which is the only February to reach and eclipse 800 in sales is no reason to be disappointed.

 

One clear pattern emerging this year has been the fast start to condominium sales. Year-to-date sales are up 33% and dollar volume has jumped 37%. One thing is for sure. There is no lack of listings to enable this pattern to continue. With the exception of 2016 where the condominium inventory was nearly 12% higher than the current 665 condominium listings on the market now, they remain elevated over previous years.  Only 2015 is close since it was the first year when a real spike in condominium supply took off.

 

On the other hand residential-detached or single family properties are not keeping up with last year’s record-setting pace. Listings entered on MLS® for the first two months have decreased 6% while sales are down 8%. 

 

One price range which did unusually well in February was for home sales over $1 million. You often may not have one sale in this month as was the case in 2016 or just one in February 2015. This year there were 7 and this significant difference is the first clear indication of the City of Winnipeg’s new impact fee on new residential property. Buyers intending to build their luxury homes in Winnipeg are advancing their plans to avoid paying Winnipeg’s impact fee which comes into effect May 1, 2017.

 

February MLS® unit sales of 766 were down 6% in comparison to February 2016 while dollar volume of $217.4 million decreased 2% from the same month last year.  New listings coming on the market in February also fell 9% from February 2016.

 

“Not only are we coming off a record-setting year but are faced with new challenges in stricter mortgage qualifications and new City of Winnipeg impact fees on residential property,” said Blair Sonnichsen, president of WinnipegREALTORS®. “While too early to tell at this juncture in the year it is apparent already some substitution to more affordable property types is occurring and buyers are aware of Winnipeg’s new impact fees.”

 

Regardless of some of the new wrinkles in the 2017 real estate market one overriding housing demand driver well intact is immigration and the manifestation of it in population increases.   In February some of the Statistics Canada 2016 census data was released which showed Manitoba is growing at a faster rate than the national average. While Winnipeg’s growth rate from 2011 to 2016 was 6.6%, higher but less than a percentage point above Manitoba’s at 5.5%, what really stood out is to what extent some of the rural municipalities within the capital region are growing. Steinbach’s has increased 17%, Niverville (26.6%), Ste. Anne (30%), Blumenort (19.3%) and Ile des Chenes (25.1%).

 

“Winnipeg has always been in our name since WinnipegREALTORS® incorporation in 1903 however our MLS® market area encompasses the entire capital region,” said Marina James, CEO of WinnipegREALTORS®.  “We therefore are well attuned to the growth taking place outside Winnipeg.”

 

The most active residential-detached price range was from $250,000-$299,999 at 21%. Another 30% of residential-detached sales came from the next higher and lower price ranges with both tallying 15% of total sales. The average days to sell a residential-detached property was 34 days, 3 days faster than February 2016.

 

The most active condo price range was the $150,000-$199,999 at 36% of total sales. The average days to sell a condominium was 45 days, 3 days quicker than February 2016.

 

All markets are not only local like WinnipegREALTORS®  market region but vary within as evident from differences in population growth rates.  Whether buying or selling you should be calling a REALTOR® because they know the variations within a local market and how the different property types behave throughout the capital region.

 

Established in 1903, WinnipegREALTORS® is a professional association representing just over 1,850 real estate brokers, salespeople, appraisers, and financial members active in the Greater Winnipeg Area real estate market.  Its REALTOR® members adhere to a strict code of ethics and share a state-of-the-art Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) designed exclusively for REALTORS®. WinnipegREALTORS® serves its members by promoting the benefits of an organized real estate profession. 

 

The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by CREA and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA.

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ON THE CUSP OF A NEW MLS® ANNUAL SALES RECORD

PRESS RELEASE

December 6, 2016



WINNIPEG  - November MLS® sales activity was less than 3% off the best November ever in 2015 when it eclipsed 900 sales. This solid result ensures the addition of sales in December to the November year-to-date total will usher in a new all-time annual sales record for WinnipegREALTORS®. It will replace 2007 as the top sales year ever in the association’s 113 years of operation.

 

November sales of 877 were down less than 3% from November 2015 while dollar volume of $243 million was slightly below the $244 million transacted in November 2015.  New listings entered on the MLS® of 1,374 in November were down by 3% from last year but well above the long term average. 

 

The two main property types went in opposite directions in November. Residential-detached or single family home transactions were down 7% while condominiums increased 8%.

 

November is the first full month of sales activity since the federal government brought in tougher mortgage regulations. They require a lower debt-to-income ratio of 39 per cent and a higher stress test threshold to qualify for a home at the Bank of Canada rate of 4.64 per cent when putting down less than 20 per cent as your down payment.

 

“As we are at the tail end of the year we will have to look further ahead to 2017 before we can truly determine the impact of the new mortgage regulations on our market,” said Stewart Elston, president of WinnipegREALTORS®. “Although the marked divergence in residential-detached and condo sales in November may certainly be an indication of some first-time buyers having to choose a more affordable condo.”

 

He added, “We are fortunate to have one of the most affordable-priced housing markets in the country.  However we still we cannot ignore the fact a number of potential buyers will be impacted and may decide to save more before they enter home ownership.”

 

Year-to-date MLS® sales of 13,015 are up 6% over the same period in 2015 while dollar volume of over $3.6 billion has increased 8% over 2015. The year-to-date dollar volume figure has already surpassed WinnipegREALTORS®’ highest annual dollar volume total of $3.5 billion.

 

 

MLS® inventory going into the final month of 2016 is sitting at just over 4,000 listings and is down 8% compared to the same period last year. The primary reason for the decrease is due to stronger demand for listings in 2016.

 

In looking back on what has now resulted in an impressive year of consistently good monthly MLS® sales activity, Elston made the following comment.

 

“The Winnipeg housing market tends to fly under the radar of higher profile markets such as Toronto and Vancouver and that suits me just fine,” said Elston.  “It behooves housing consumers in our local market to be asking questions of our REALTORS® and builders to understand what is happening here.  All markets are local and then some, with differences in how property types behave between themselves, and within specific areas of Winnipeg and the surrounding municipalities.”

 

The most active price range for residential-detached sales in November 2016 was from $250,000 to $299,999 at 20% of total sales. Next busiest is the $200,000 to $249,999 price range at 17%. There were still 22% of total sales taking place in the three price ranges under $200,000.  The average days on market to sell a home was 36 days, 5 days quicker than November 2015.

 

The most active price range for condominium sales in November 2016 was from $150,000 to $199,999 at 22% with the second busiest price ranges of $200,000 to $249,999 and $250,000 to $299,999 both representing 16% of total sales.  The average days on market to sell a condominium was 54 days, 5 days slower than the pace set in November 2015.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

Established in 1903, WinnipegREALTORS® is a professional association representing just over 1,800 real estate brokers, salespeople, appraisers, and financial members active in the Greater Winnipeg Area real estate market.  Its REALTOR® members adhere to a strict code of ethics and share a state-of-the-art Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) designed exclusively for REALTORS®. WinnipegREALTORS® serves its members by promoting the benefits of an organized real estate profession.  REALTOR®, MLS® and Multiple Listing Service® are trademarks owned and controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association and are used under licence.

For further information, contact Peter Squire at (204) 786-8854.


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Sales On Pace to Set New Annual MLS® Sales Record

 

WINNIPEG - Above average sales in October set the stage for a new annual sales record in WinnipegREALTORS® 113th year of serving the Greater Winnipeg Area real estate market.

 

October sales of 1,138 were up 5% over October 2015 and likewise over the 10-year average for this month. October dollar volume of close to $310 million increased 9% over the same month last year.

 

Year-to-date sales of over 12,000 are 7% ahead of the same period last year and are well within reach of eclipsing the annual sales record set in 2007 of 13,079. Year-to-date dollar volume of $3.37 billion is up 9% over 2015 and will easily set a new annual dollar volume record in November. Manitoba MLS® dollar volume just edged over $4 billion in early November.

 

“It is a matter of when, not if,” said Stewart Elston, president of WinnipegREALTORS®, when queried on WinnipegREALTORS® setting a new all-time sales record this year. He added, “Our strong international immigration numbers are a real contributor to creating demand for MLS® listings.”

 

CMHC’s regional economist Lai Sing Louie pointed out earlier this month, at an MHBA housing conference, Manitoba’s elevated population growth has expanded the first-time homebuyer age group of 25 to 34 year olds.

 

First-time homebuyers not only make up a significant segment of any housing market but are instrumental in the ongoing home sales process. When they purchase their first home they provide current owners with the opportunity to upgrade or downsize leading to a cascade of more purchases all the way up the housing ladder continuum.

 

While first-time buyers are a key driver of single family home sales, their presence is being felt in how well the more affordable condominiums, single-attached and townhouse property types have performed in 2016. Condominium sales are up 10% over last year and less than 3% off their best year at this juncture in 2014. Single-attached and townhouse properties have risen 9 and 51% respectively over 2015.

 

If you are looking for where the predominant gains in sales activity occurred in the two main property types in 2016, simply put; higher price ranges in single family and the lower ones in condominiums.  Sales are higher in all price ranges $250,000 and above in single family homes while condominium price ranges under $250,000 are consistently better.

 

This helps explain why the average sale price for condominiums in 2016 of $234,623 is modestly lower than 2015 (1.5%) while the 2016 average single family or residential-detached sale price of $303,660 is up 3% this year. 

 

“Winnipeg’s balanced housing market has kept prices in check despite brisk sales activity,” said Elston.  “This is in sharp contrast to some high priced markets in Canada where listings can be in short supply.”

 

There is no one national housing market. All markets are local with their own factors shaping their outcome.  You need to talk to your REALTOR® to understand exactly what is happening in regard to your own local market situation. 

 

The most active price range for residential-detached homes in October 2016 was from $250,000 to $299,999 at 23% of total sales. The lower price range of $200,000 to $249,999 was second busiest at 16%. The highest- price home sale was $1,375,000 and the lowest sale price was $39,000. The average days on market to sell a home was 33 days, 2 days faster than October 2015.

 

30% of condominium sales in October occurred in the $150,000 to $199,999 price range with another 17% happening in the $200,000 to $249,999 range. The highest-price condo sale was $975,000 and the lowest sale price was $88,000. The average days on market for condos was 47 days, the same pace as October 2015.

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A New August Benchmark of Over 1,300 Sales


Summer vacations, the Olympics, Folklorama, Blue Bomber winning streak and other August activities did not get in the way of buyers taking advantage of a healthy supply of some of the most affordable house prices in the country.

 

August was indeed splendid with a new benchmark in sales established.  For the first time in August, MLS sales went over 1,300 to finish at 1,350.  This represents an 11% increase over the 10 year average for this summer month and sets up a potential record breaking sales year with sales ahead by nearly 7% with four months to go.

 

Year to date dollar volume of over $2.7 billion is maintaining a record pace as well with a gain of over 8% in comparison to the first eight months in 2015.

 

"2016 is showing strong market activity with a number of new monthly sales highs already recorded," said Stewart Elston, president of Winnipeg Realtors.  "One way of looking at it is buyers are converting opportunities in greater numbers this year.  They are reaping the benefit of many listings to choose from at prices which are being held in check by a balanced market.  Helping keep prices more affordable are record low borrowing costs."

 

Both August MLS sales an dollar volume increased 7% in comparison to the same month last year.  New listings were up only 3% while the inventory at the end of August of 5,148 listings is down 8% from 2015.  Due in part to such solid sales activity this year, the two busiest MLS property types, residential-detached and condo - are down 11 and 9% respectively in available listings from last year.

 

Condo sales have made big strides over last year with a 14% increase in August over the same month in 2015 and 10% year to date.  2014 is the only year condo sales were better up until the end of August.

 

"This August's sales performance puts to rest any notion summer is not an important, if not an essential time, in our yearly market activity," said Elston.  "With the exception of May and June, July and August are very active as sellers want to take advantage of ideal curb appeal conditions to show off their properties while buyers too want to see them in the best possible light."

 

One home in particular which caught some buyer's eye was one in South Charleswood.  It is the highest residential-detached MLS sale this year at $2 million.  There was also a house sale for $21,000.

 

"When there is such a wide range of house prices within our market, a myriad of Winnipeg neighbourhoods and rural municipalities to choose from and varying degrees of listing supply availability, you need to be talking to a Realtor about your own specific situation in order to make an informed decision" said Elston.

 

The most active price range for residential-detached sales in August 2016 was from $250,000-$299,999 at 24% of total sales.  15% of the sales activity was from $200,000-$249,999 while another 13% was from $300,000 to $349,999.  The average number of days to sell a home was 35 days, 3 days quicker than August 2015.

 

The most active price range for condos in August 2016 was from $150,000-$199,999 at 29% of total sales.  Tied for second at 18% and well back in comparison were the $100,000 to $149,999 and $200,000 to $249,999 price ranges.  Similar to residential-detached, a condo sale price of $973,350 is the highest condo sale price this year.

 

The average days on market for a condo sale was 47 days, 8 days faster than August 2015.

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Back to back months of the second and third best months ever on record with 1,638 transactions in June and 1,629 in May makes 2016 the most active year for the first 6 months and second quarter.  Only May 2007 is higher than this June at 1,652 sales.  The next busiest second quarter on record was in 2008 when again there were back to back outstanding monthly results with May and June each recording 1,564 sales.

 

Sales were up 9% in June over the same month last year and the identical percentage increase for the first 6 months in comparison to the same period in 2015.  It is the first time Winnipeg Realtors has surpassed 7,000 MLs sales in 6 months.

 

"There is no question the perfect storm I spoke of earlier in the year is materializing," said Stewart Elston, president of Winnipeg Realtors.  "The Winnipeg real estate market is supported by strong underlying fundamentals.  Helping us reach new heights is the excellent supply of MLS listings with much to choose from throughout the market region.  The difference between this year and last year is stronger buyer sentiment and therefore higher conversions of listings to sales."

 

Single family homes led the way to this impressive June result with 1,252 sales or 76% of total MLS sales.  Condos did not perform as well in comparision to the previous 2 years but still very respectable at 187 sales or over 11% of total MLS sales.

 

Eager buyers vying for coveted single family home listings translated to more above list price offers this June in comparison to last month and June 2015.  It is the highest monthly dollar volume on record.  Year to date dollar volume of close to $2 billion has risen 11% over the first half of 2015.  

 

"2016 is exceeding our initial forecast and expectations for MLS sales this year," said Elston.  "Recent news of a record breaking 12 month increase of 19,453 people to our province and 63,119 individuals in the last four years is certainly a contributing factor.  Along with population growth and a younger demographic comes an increased number of births which often triggers demand for housing.  It is worth noting our own membership numbers have been increasing in the last few years and now sit at over 1,900 members."

 

Price growth this year is more in line with the forecast for single family homes.  A healthy supply of listings for the most part is keeping price increases in check.  The chart below illustrates subdued price appreciation for all quadrants of Winnipeg and a similar pattern in the outlying rural municipaslities when comparing the first half of 2016 to the same period in 2015. 

 

Condo prices were not expected to see any discernible difference in 2016 if not facing some downward pressure owing to the abundance of MLS listings and new condo supply on the market.  They have decreased very modestly at this stage.

 

The average year to date price for single family homes and condos is $306,311 and $232,507 respectively.

 

Of course depending on the property type you have, its location, the number of competing similar property types with their own strengths and weaknesses, you need to be talking to an expert -- a Realtor -- who can advise you on what you need.

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Highest Ever Monthly MLS Dollar Volume Total of $460 Million


May 2016 showed stellar results with MLS sales surpassing 1,600 for only the third time in Winnipeg Realtors 113 year history.  MLS dollar volume followed suit with a new all time monthly record of $460 million.

 

2016 is picking up where 2015 left off with a full recovery in condo sales from early last year and residential-detached sales continuing to shine and show gains over the previous year.  Beyond the two main property types, sales increases are also occurring in most others, such as duplexes, vacant land, commercial, mobile homes, single attached and town houses.

 

"Buyers are taking notice and advantage of one of the most affordable markets in the country," said Stewart Elston, president of Winnipeg Realtors.  "They also have the benefit of choosing from a wide array and abundance of good listings."

 

Only May 2007 has higher monthly sales than the 1,629 sales transacted in May 2016.  Both May 2016 sales and dollar volume were up 12% over May 2015.  New listings were robust too, just shy of 3,000 coming on to the market in May.  Despite all these new listings, the inventory of 5,291 listings at the end of May is down 8% from last year.

 

Year to date MLS sales of 5,446 are up 9% from the same period last year and ahead of previous years, albeit by a very small margin in comparison to 2012.  Year to date dollar volume of $1.5 billion is up 10% from the first 5 months in 2015.  Listings entered on the MLS in 2016 are virtually the same as last year's at just over 11,000.

 

"Given the second quarter, our busiest quarter of the year, is performing so well, it does set us up to usher in another steady and impressive year of MLS sales activity," said Elston.  "We may even look at adjusting our annual forecast projection at the end of June based on year to date numbers."

 

Sometimes it is interesting to note where your gains are in sales over the previous year when you look at the price range breakdown.  May 2016 saw quite a significant increase in residential-detached sales at the lower end of the spectrum from $125,000 to $149,999 but also experienced a sizable jump in sales activity from $475,000 to $599,999.  As for condos, an upward shift is occurring with the $200,000 to $249,999 price range showing a 33% increase in unit sales over May 2015.

 

You only have to go back to May 2013 when the $150,000 to $199,999 price range for condos was so much more dominant than other price ranges at 40% of all sales.  May 2016 shows the $200,000 to $249,999 price range coming to within a few sales of equaling this price range.

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April MLS Sales Up 8%


April MLS sales showed continued strength and momentum from an excellent first quarter of MLS sales and dollar volume activity.

 

April sales surpassed both last April's total and the April 10 year average by 8%.  The 1,373 sales transacted through Winnipeg Realtors MLS are the highest sales total on record for the month of April.

 

Year to date sales are also up 8% at over 3,800.  This current pace is only outflanked by 2012 while year to date dollar volume of over $1 billion has risen nearly 10% over the same period in 2015.

 

Active listing inventory has come off its peak level of over 5,000 in 2015.  It now sits at 4,708 in 2016.  New listings coming on the market in April were down 10% from the same month last year.  The absorption rate for all MLS listings going into May, if you assume there are no new listings entered on MLS is down to 3 1/2 months.

 

"While there were no major spring storms to deal with, I believe our MLS market had the perfect storm when it came to what transpired in April," said Winnipeg Realtors president Stewart Elston.  "We enjoyed a healthy influx of buyers taking advantage of a very competitive market with such favourable interest rates.  At the same time we witnessed a reduction in the number of listings coming on the market.  This resulted in more balanced market conditions in which sellers are feeling more hopeful with supply starting to level off."

 

Adding fuel to Elston's delight with an excellent start to the second quarter was Winnipeg receiving top billing in the Globe and Mail's Report on Business recently.  It talks about Winnipeg "powering the engine of one of Canada's most stable, resilient provincial economies."  The report also indicated Manitoba "is projected to have the third highest rate of economic growth this year - 2.2 per cent according to RBC Economics Research ... and to enjoy the lowest unemployment rate in the country, 5.4%, well below the Canadian norm of 7%."

 

Some MLS areas would have welcomed more listings, as sales were brisk, but from an overall market perspective supply needs to come back more in line with existing demand.  Of course, not all areas, nor property types, share the same outcomes month to month, so you need to be talking to a Realtor about how your particular needs and preferences fit within the existing market.

 

Speaking of property types, the stand out in April and one which has been noted this year already, is condominium. There has been a strong resurgence of condo sales in comparison to an underachieving performance in early 2015.  Condo sales increased 34% over April 2015 and are up 21% year to date in comparison to the same period last year.

 

"The comeback in condo sales activity this year is encouraging since there is a significant inventory of new and resale condos on the market presently," said Elston.  "Buyers are waking up to this fact and availing themselves to some attractive offerings."

 

While we will look more closely at the various quadrants of Winnipeg and rural municipalities of the Winnipeg Realtors market region after six months of residential-detached sales activity, it is worth noting for the first time the southwest quadrant had an average residential-detached sales price of over $400,000.  Two of their 194 sales were in excess of $1 million.  It is indicicative of good move up activity as the spring market starts to get in full gear.

 

The most active price range for residential-detached sales in April was from $250,000-$299,999 at 21% of total sales.  Closely matched in second place were the $300,000 to $349,999 and the $200,000 to $249,999 price ranges at 15% and 14% respectively.  The highest sales price was $1,250,000 with the lowest being only $9,500. The average number of days to sell a home in April was 26 days, two days quicker than April 2015.

 

The most active price range for condos in April was $150,000 to $199,999 at 34%.  The next busiest price range was from $200,000 to $249,999 at 20%.  The highest condo sales price was $770,000.  The lowest sales price was $56,000.  The average number of days to sell a condo was 41 days, eight days ahead of the pace set in April 2015.

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