WINNIPEG - December sales of 674 were exceptional — up 25% over the same month in 2018 and 8% above the 5-year average. As a result, activity this month propel year-end sales to the highest level on record at 13,662, a 7% increase over 2018 and slightly ahead of the 13,632 MLS® sales transacted in 2016.
Similarly, December's impressive dollar volume of close to $200 million pushed the year-end dollar volume total over the $4 billion threshold level for the first time. Dollar volume in 2019 of $4.059 billion rose over 7% compared to 2018.
Last year also ushered in the highest number of listings entered on WinnipegREALTORS® MLS®. The 25,741 listings increased 8% over 2018 and 6% above the 5-year average. The percentage of MLS® listings selling or what is referred to as the sales-to-listings ratio is still within 2% of the 5-year average. Notable in 2019 is that residential-detached listings sold, on average, for 98% of their list price.
“December market results are not only indicative of a strong second half to 2019 but a very active year as a whole," said Kenneth Clark, outgoing president of WinnipegREALTORS®. “Buyers in particular benefited from a healthy supply of listings and sales gains across most MLS® property types show they were actively engaged in the 2019 real estate market."
It is important to note 2019 saw an increase in overall MLS® activity as a result of welcoming new rural brokerage offices, such as ones in the South Central Plains MLS® area (e.g. Winkler, Morden and Altona), onto the WinnipegREALTORS® MLS®. They formerly had been on the Manitoba Real Estate Association (MREA) MLS®. As they were main contributors to MREA's MLS® market activity in previous years, their contribution to WinnipegREALTORS®' MLS® in 2019 was instrumental in generating higher listings, sales and dollar volume totals.
The city of Winnipeg remains the dominant selling area within WinnipegREALTORS® market region with 71% of residential-detached and nearly 85% of condominium sales. However, when it comes to vacant lot sales, of which there were 502 in 2019, rural MLS® areas dominate with over 90% of total sales.
WinnipegREALTORS® market region showed very little change in average 2019 residential-detached and condominium sale prices in comparison to 2018. The 2019 average residential-detached sales price was $324,122 versus $321,945 in 2018. Condominiums showed less than a $1,000 difference with a slight decrease from $238,916 in 2019 to $238,088 in 2018.
Speaking of the main MLS® zones within Winnipeg and those many MLS® rural areas outside Winnipeg, average residential-detached sale prices in 2019 were remarkably similar to 2018. The biggest gain at 3.5% was the Winnipeg west MLS® zone (north of Assiniboine River). It went from $251,588 in 2018 to $260,453 in 2019. The only decrease was in the rural MLS® zone which saw its average sales price drop from $308,320 to $305,035. The highest average sales price is in the southwest Winnipeg MLS® zone at $426,573.
As for sales, the rural MLS® zone saw a 16% jump in sales activity due primarily to the significant increase in activity in the South Central Plains MLS® area on WinnipegREALTORS®' MLS®. The only drop in sales activity was in the Winnipeg west MLS® zone. It was a very modest 2.6%.
For the two main property types, residential-detached and condominiums, total sales were up 5% and 7% respectively compared to last year. There were 9,788 residential-detached sales and 1,750 condo sales. While representing less than 5% of total MLS® market share, single-attached properties really stood out in 2019 with 640 sales, a 24% increase over 2018.
Affordability remains firmly intact as nearly three out of four condominium sales in 2019 were at prices under $300,000, whereas 76% of residential-detached sold for under $400,000 with nearly one in two selling for under $300,000.
The highest residential-detached home to sell in 2019 was for $2,290,000, while the most expensive condominium to sell was $1,300,000.“2019 is testimony to our hard-working REALTORS® really stepping up to lead WinnipegREALTORS® to a record number of transactions," said Marina R. James, CEO of WinnipegREALTORS®. “REALTORS® expertise and knowledge came to the fore in making a listing stand out in what has been a very competitive marketplace this year."