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WINNIPEG  -  WinnipegREALTORS® experienced its strongest third quarter of market activity on record with close to 4,100 MLS® sales worth 1.19 billion dollars. Each of the three months had their highest dollar volume totals ever for their respective months. A new sales record was also set for the month of August while July and September were right at the top.

As a result of this marked improvement in third quarter market activity over 2018, year-to-date sales are up 6% with 10,913 sales while dollar volume of $3.25 billion has increased 7% over the first nine months in 2018. This now places 2019 within less than 1% of the best years on record in 2016 and 2017 with respect to sales and the highest dollar volume of any previous year with three months to go.

September sales of 1,211 are ahead of the same month last year by 16% and only 4 sales shy of the best September on record in 2016. Dollar volume was up 16% too at close to $350 million.

It is worth noting that single-attached and duplex properties are showing double-digit sales percentage increases over last year as are up 17% and 27% respectively after nine months. 53 single-attached properties sold in September, a 43% increase over September 2018.

Another development more pronounced in the third quarter this year is the double-digit percentage increase in new listings each month over the same month in 2018.

In September, new listings coming on the market rose 10% to 2,365. So despite the impressive sales this month inventory remaining for sale going into October is over 6,000 listings as was the case at the end of August. This means that one out of five listings sold in September. 

“Good economic fundamentals, growth in our membership and market region well beyond Winnipeg, a healthy listing supply and favourable mortgage rates despite tougher qualifications rules, is behind the impressive market activity we have had this third quarter," said Ken Clark, president of WinnipegREALTORS®.  “However, it is important to keep in mind and be attentive to just how competitive the current market is with so many listings for buyers to choose from."

Due to the elevated supply in listings this year prices are being held in check. The year-to-date average single family home sales price is $325,215 ($322,828 in 2018) while the year-to-date average condo sales price is $238,820 ($239,877 in 2018). The percentage of listings selling at or above list price for single family homes this year is just over 27% while condominiums are at 21%.

Affordability remains a defining feature of the local market with more than one in two single family homes and 76% of condos selling in September for under $300,000. In a recent survey reported in The Canadian Press on affordability of Canadian cities by Forum Research, its President  Lorne Bozinoff said, “ When it comes to mortgages Winnipeggers are paying amongst the lowest proportion of their income every month."

When there are as many listings as we currently have on the market that means there are also many   sellers looking to buy another property within our local market," said Clark. “This bodes well for continued strong sales activity into the fourth quarter."

“All real estate markets are local and then some in terms of differences within their market region," said WinnipegREALTORS® CEO Marina R. James. “You need to hire a REALTOR® who has the knowledge and expertise to educate you on how you can best navigate your specific real estate need.
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A record month of sales and dollar volume activity for August capped off a very active summer. July and August were identical twins when it came to sales. However dollar volume differed with lower dollar volume in August due in part to condominium sales activity showing much larger gains than single family.

August MLS® sales of 1,439 were up 13% over August 2018 and rose 9% above the five-year average for this month.  The highest previous month of sales activity for August was 1,350 sales in 2016. August dollar volume of $411 million resulted in close to a 10% gain over the same month last year.  It is the first time August dollar volume has eclipsed the $400 million mark.

The real highlight of August 2019 was the 37% increase in condominium sales over August 2018. The 199 sales are 19% higher than the five-year average for this month and a few sales below the best condo month sales performances ever for the Winnipeg Metro Region.

With the exception of 9 new condo sales in a Fort Rouge project, the vast majority of condo sales in August were resales with many of the larger percentage gains over 2018 occurring in the southwest quadrant of Winnipeg.  When you add up the August condo sales activity of East Fort Garry, Linden Woods and Fort Richmond, there are 34 sales. There were 12 altogether last August.

As for single family sales, the 1,014 total for this month are record-setting too for this month but only up 4% over August 2018. 3% of these sales can be attributed to the expansion of MLS® this year to the south-central region of Manitoba in the Morden/Winkler area. Another 25% of total single family sales came from outside Winnipeg.

“It is not often, if at all, when we see condominium sales outperform single family to the degree they did this month," said Ken Clark, president of WinnipegREALTORS®.   He added, “It means their year-to-date percentage gain over 2018 sales is greater than single family's now."

If condominiums were the lead standout in this record-performing MLS® month, there was a strong supporting cast of other property types besides single family. All property types saw increases over August 2018 with large double-digit increases in many instances. The 27 resort property sales increased 50% over 2018.

Year-to-date MLS® sales of 9,702 are 5% higher than the same period of time last year while dollar volume of $2.91 billion is up 6% from 2018. Sales are within 1% of the best years on record in 2016 and 2017.

Inventory is somewhat elevated at over 6,000 listings and is 17% greater than we were at the same time last year, however overall we remain in balanced territory.

“It is becoming abundantly clear with the strong results we had in August that buyers are capitalizing on the incredible choice and vast array of affordably-priced properties available on our MLS® for sale," said Clark. “A very favourable 5-year fixed rate in the current mortgage market bodes well for buyers heading into the fall season."

“In a competitive market where there are so many listings to choose from, you need to hire a REALTOR® to make your property stand out and come up with the  right strategy to sell your home," said Marina R. James.  “REALTORS® have the knowledge, expertise and tools to sell your listing."

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WINNIPEG - The Winnipeg Metro Region market heated up in terms of dollar volume with a new record set for July with $437 million representing a 10% increase over July 2018. Sales of 1,440 trended upward with nearly a 5% rise over last July and only 3% shy of the best July on record in 2014.

Year-to-date sales activity of 8,263 sales shows a 4% gain over the same period last year while dollar volume of close to $2.5 billion is up more than 5% in comparison to 2018. This is the highest dollar volume reached for WinnipegREALTORS® in the first 7 months of 2019.

Helping explain the higher percentage increase in dollar volume this July are some notable increases in sales in some of the higher price ranges in condominiums and to a lesser extent, single family homes. For example, in condominiums, there were 20 sales compared to 10 last July in the $275,000 to $299,999 price range. There were 9 sales compared to 3 last July in the $375,000 to $399,999 price range and twice as many sales over $600,000 this year with one selling for $1 million. A good example in single family homes with 60 sales in the $400,000 to $424,999 price range compared to 34 in 2018 in this same price range.

One of the results of having higher-priced condominium sales the last few months is the average year-to-date sale price drawing even with 2018 at $240,000. The single family home year-to- date average sales price of $328,718 is up less than 2% compared to the same period last year.

Listings continue to exhibit strong increases on a monthly basis over last year with over a 10% jump in new listings coming on the market in July or a 15% growth in inventory with 6,083 listings available for sale going into August.

“The strong numbers in both sales, dollar volume and listings in July is a reflection of buyers taking advantage of lower mortgage rates, a fabulous choice of an abundant supply of listings, and some very attractive affordable housing options beyond just single family homes and condominiums,” said Ken Clark, president of WinnipegREALTORS®. ‘”It is also worth noting, in July the Bank of Canada lowered the rate used by the mortgage stress test to qualify for a mortgage from 5.34 per cent to 5.19 per cent.”

And in addition to single family homes and condominiums which offer alternative housing choices for buyers, the attached housing category performed very well in July with over 100 sales with an average sale price of just under $257,000.

The most active of the attached property type category, which includes duplexes, townhouses and single-attached, was the latter one with 72 sales – a 22% increases over the same month last year. Year-to-date nearly 400 single-attached properties have been sold and increased 22% over the same period last year.

Single-attached is the third busiest property type with 5% of total MLS® market share. Leading the way after seven months is single family homes with close to 73% and then condominiums with a 12% market share.

“ We have reason to be optimistic of achieving a good MLS® result in August given the positive trend over 2018 and the wide array and diversity of listings on the market,” said Clark. “All provincial election volunteers on the campaign trail will certainly notice all of our MLS® listings available for sale.”

“Get out and take advantage of our spectacular summer weather to see all of our listings for sale throughout the Winnipeg Metro Region,” said Marina R. James, CEO of WinnipegREALTORS®. “Our REALTORS® know the local market and will apply their skills and abilities to help find the right home for you.”

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WINNIPEG -   June sales of 1,528 fell short of June 2018 market activity by 1% and 3% from the 5-year average for this month. What really stood out in June is extensive inventory which offers buyers record levels of choice in one of the most affordable housing markets in the country.

June dollar volume of nearly $463 million declined 2% from June 2018 yet is equal to the 5-year June average. New listings are strong again in June with 2,698 entered on the MLS®, an 8% increase over June 2018. Current inventory going into summer is approaching 6,000 listings, 14% higher than 2018.

“Despite a slight decline in June sales activity the record -setting May helped propel second quarter results to match the 5-year average," said Ken Clark, president of WinnipegREALTORS®.  “This year's second quarter is just 4% behind our best quarter on record in 2016."

In terms of June single family home sales activity, sales were neck and neck between the two most active price ranges of $250,000 to $299,999 and the $300,000 to $349,999. Together they represent 35% of total sales.  If you add the two next similarly paced price ranges of $200,000 to $249,999 and $350,000 to $399,999 you reach 60% total sales activity. Condominium sales were most active in the $150,000 to $199,999 at 29%. The next most active price range was from $200,000 to $249,999 at 19%.

“ It is important to keep in mind that sales activity varies between different  price ranges and drops off significantly as you climb up the price ladder," said Clark. “In June the price ranges from $500,000 and above made up just 10% of total single family home sales. “

Year-to-date sales of 6,823 are up nearly 4% over the first six months of 2018. The only two years they trail are the record-setting years of 2016 and 2017 where both had over 7,000 sales at this time.  Dollar volume after six months is over $2 billion and slightly lower than the highest total recorded in 2017 and nearly ahead by 5% over 2018.

“A true sign of a strong market is when the sales and dollar volume increase at a reasonable but steady pace, and the first 6 months of 2019 certainly make that evident", said Clark.

At the end of the first half of every year WinnipegREALTORS® likes to see how average single family home prices are tracking in the 5 MLS® zones within Winnipeg and the rural zone encompassing the market region outside Winnipeg.  As you can see from the chart below, all zones show prices are slightly ahead or even with last year with the exception of the North zone which is down by a small margin.

The highest average priced MLS® zone is the Southwest at $435,430 while the lowest are the North and West zones at $263,117 and $263,852 respectively. The overall average single family sales price is $329,841, a very modest gain over the $325,314 recorded for first six months in 2018.

“A healthy supply of listings is keeping our house prices in check and very affordable," said Clark.

The June 2019 RBC Housing Trends and Affordability Report highlights Winnipeg as being just above its long-term average level of affordability since 1985. It comments that “slow-rising prices keep ownership costs very manageable".

Looking ahead to the second half of 2019, CREA revised its 2019 forecast to indicate a recovery in home sales is underway across a number of market regions.  This is certainly the case in the Winnipeg Metro Region with sales improving over 2018. CREA is calling for an increase in sales of over 4% for Manitoba.

“Not every market is the same nor house within a market," said Marina R.  James, CEO of WinnipegREALTORS®. “There are many factors at play so you need to be calling a professional REALTOR® - a market expert – to help you meet your home buying and home selling needs."

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WINNIPEG - While Manitobans welcomed spring with open arms given a long winter they also were relieved to know potential flooding threats did not come to fruition. Thanks to major engineering flood mitigating projects such as The Winnipeg Floodway or Duff's Ditch, as it is commonly referred to as, thousands of properties have been saved over many years from the ravages of water damage.

April sales of 1,223 were down less than 5% from April 2018 while dollar volume decreased 3%.  It is a 60 sales difference from 2018.

Single family dwellings and condominiums remain close to last year's results with six fewer sales in single family and eight in condominiums.

2,711 new listings were added to the market in April to create a healthy supply of nearly 5,000 listings available for sale in May. Current inventory sits at 4 months of supply. This is considered balanced from an overall market perspective.

“The strong influx of new listings this year bodes well for an uptick in increased sales as we head into our busiest months of the year," said Ken Clark, president of WinnipegREALTORS®. “The wide choice and affordable options available for buyers will help make this a reality."

 Year-to-date sales are up 2% while dollar volume is 3% higher with over $1 billion worth of sales activity. Listings entered for the year are tracking 5% ahead of last year for the first four months.

The average sales price for single family homes or residential-detached in April was $332,185. Helping raise the average sale price up to this level were 7 sales over $1 million including one for $2,100,000 in Tuxedo. The condominium average sale price as well saw it rise well above its previous month average to $248,284. There were some higher priced sales of which one went for just under $1 million on Waterfront Drive.

The most active price ranges in percentage terms of total sales for single family homes in April where from $200,000 to $399,999. The $250,000 to $299,999 price range realized the most sales at 18% of all sales.

For condominiums, the $250,000 to $299,999 price range was just edged out by the $150,000 to $199,999 price range. The latter represented 25% of total sales with the former having 23%.

In April the Bank of Canada maintained the overnight lending rate at 1.75%. This did not come as a surprise as many economists state we will not see a rate increase in 2019 due to uncertainty around trade including ratification of the Canada-United States- Mexico Agreement.  Even an interest rate cut may be a possibility.

The Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz spoke to the April monetary policy report and in addressing the housing market he said markets such as Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa and Winnipeg are seeing solid activity.

It is interesting to note Governor Poloz was in Winnipeg on May 6, 2019 as part of the Canadian Credit Union Association national conference. The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce hosted a luncheon featuring a conversation with him.

“I appreciate the governor expressing a vote of confidence in our housing market," said Clark. “We know Winnipeg's market is a resilient and steady one and should continue to perform well this year."

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WINNIPEG – Spring is a time of optimism, when we cast off winter's gloomy grip and walk cheerfully into the warm sunshine. This renewal of energy is apparently being reflected in local housing sales for the beginning of 2019 in the Winnipeg METRO Region.

First quarter sales are off to a good start. The 2,367 sales transacted in the first three months show a 6% increase over the same period in 2018, and only a 3% dip from the record-setting years of 2016 and 2017.  Similar to sales, there is a 6% rise in year-to-date listings with more than 5,400 entered on the MLS®. Dollar volume of close to $700 million is up 7% from 2018.

March sales of 1,009 resulted in nearly a 4% gain in comparison to March 2018, while dollar volume of just under $300 million edged out last March by less than 3%. The 4,212 active listings sitting in inventory at the end of March are 8% higher than they were at the same time last year.

 “The solid first quarter sales activity is a positive momentum builder going into the busier springmarket," said Kenneth Clark, president of WinnipegREALTORS®. “No interest rate hikes are on the horizon, and buyers know PST relief is coming July 1 with all of the ancillary purchases that go with the purchase of a home."

 March single-family home sales activity was most active in the $300,000 to $349,999 price range and therefore supplanted the next lower price range of $250,000 to $299,999. March 2018 was the exact opposite and by a 45 sales margin. Now more than one in two single-family home sales occur over $300,000. It will be interesting to see if this will become the norm as the year progresses.

The shift in sales activity to higher price ranges is a gradual process in a stable market such as Winnipeg's.  Of note in March - when you compare it to last March - are the rural MLS® areas as a whole, which represented 26% of total single-family home sales, and saw its average sale price increase from $315,595 to $323,873. The northeast area of Winnipeg also saw a small bump up in its average sale price to $289,857, and a 17% increase in sales activity. These two developments alone help explain the upward movement in sales activity.

Condominiums sales were virtually the same as March 2018 with price range activity nearly a repeat of last year with percentage of sales under $300,000 being at 87% and 86% respectively. The most active price range was from $150,000 to $199,999 though this March captured 35% of total condo sales while March 2018 was less at 27%, owing to more activity in the lower price range from $100,000 to $149,999.

The average single family home sales price in March was $326,433, whereas the condominiumaverage sale price recorded was $227,538.

“All markets are local and vary within, as illustrated by the difference in property type price range activity such as in single-family homes and condominiums," said Clark. “The strength of our market is the many affordable choices and options available to buyers, and that will continue in 2019."


Speaking of affordability, RBC's March 2019 Housing Trends and Affordability Report shows that in both Saskatoon and Winnipeg you are better off owning an average-priced condo apartment than renting a two-bedroom apartment. 

The report also indicates Winnipeg's market is very close to its long-term average aggregate measure of 29.6%, which is the proportion of median pre-tax household income that is required to service the cost of mortgage payments (principal and interest), property taxes, and utilities based on the average market price of all housing types in any given market.  

This year's federal budget increased the Home Buyers' Plan (HBP) withdrawal limit from $25,000 to $35,000, and extended the HBP to those going through a marital breakdown so they can use their RRSPs to put towards a down payment on a home. These changes are effective immediately.

The federal government will also carefully monitor the federal mortgage stress test, given industry concerns over how these new regulations are unnecessarily creating unintended consequences on housing markets which are in balance - or even struggling - compared to overheated ones. 

“Be it changing market conditions within the various property types or new budget measures affecting housing,  you should be calling your Realtor to keep abreast of what these changes mean as you try to better understand and navigate the housing market," said Marina R. James, CEO of WinnipegREALTORS®.

Winnipeg's housing market remains one of the more affordable in Canada, and along with therecent changes to the HBP and PST, we have much to be optimistic about.​

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 1,975 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 -  February sales of 724 show a 6% increase over February 2018 and a 10% rise in dollar volume at over $215 million.  1,447 new listings were added to the market in February which resulted in 3,735 active listings available for sale at the end of February. This healthy supply of listings represents a 10% increase over last year.

Year-to-date sales are up 8% over the same period in 2018 and 3% over the 5-year average. They are only 2% behind the record- setting pace of 2016.

“We have now had two back to back months of improvement in sales and listing gains over 2018," said Kenneth Clark, president of WinnipegREALTORS®.  “While early in the year and a cold one at that, it does show buyers are making necessary adjustments to mortgage regulation rules to complete a transaction.  Some of the increase in listings, most notable in January with a 19% increase in new listings coming on the market, is that sellers are feeling more confident about taking their next step in the local housing market."

 Helping set the stage in 2019 for continued recovery from a slow start in 2018 is the fact mortgage rates are remaining historically low with no expectation of another interest rate increase in the next few months and possibly later in the year. Affordable prices remain intact with more than half of all condo sales in February selling for under $200,000 and nearly half of single family homes selling for under $300,000.

A highlight of February was the strength of residential -detached or single family home sales happening outside the city of Winnipeg. The 152 sales represented 30% of the total amount sold in February. While the Steinbach MLS® area led the way with 28 sales, it is worth noting WinnipegREALTORS® has recently welcomed rural real estate offices to its membership from Winkler, Gimli and Lac du Bonnet.

Single family home sales of 505 increased 6.5% in February when compared to February 2018.  Condominium sales were up as well with 107 sales, a 5% increase over February 2018 and 10% greater than the 5-year average of 97 sales.

Other MLS® property types which outperformed February 2018 with double-digit percentage increases were commercial, single- attached and duplexes.  The 34 single-attached sales represented close to 5% of total MLS® sales in February where residential-detached and condominium sales captured 70% and 15% respectively.

Looking ahead to March, all three levels of government are releasing their annual budgets. The City of Winnipeg unveiled their operating and capital budget on March 1, 2019 with a proposed 2.33% property tax increase. The provincial budget comes down on March 7th while the federal government will release theirs on March 19th.

Noteworthy this year is there has been a strong push from the real estate industry to urge the federal government to provide relief to millennials who were disproportionately affected last year by the mortgage stress test.

Federal Finance Minister Bill Morneau has already acknowledged this reality and has indicated he is looking to provide young homebuyers with better means to own a home. A national survey conducted last year by Abacus Research for the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) on housing affordability showed 85 per cent of millennials and new Canadians want to own their own homes. CREA CEO Michael Bourque says, “The idea of renting for life does not appeal to either group."

“The combination of a wide choice of affordable properties to purchase in our local market gives us an advantage over more expensive housing markets in the country," said Clark. “However our first-time buyer market in 2018 did experience a noticeable drop off in sales activity so any relief from the federal government's budget would be welcome here too."

“Our REALTORS® are professional and informed," said Marina R. James, CEO of WinnipegREALTORS®.  “They make it their business to keep on top of any new developments that affect the housing market."

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WINNIPEG  - January MLS® sales of 634 increased 11% over the same month last year and 8% over the 5-year average for January.  Dollar volume rose 12% to $175 million. The 1,783 new listings entered on the MLS® in January also resulted in a double-digit gain of 19% compared to January 2018.

“This is our best start on record for January so pleased to see Winnipeggers engaged in our local real estate market right off the hop," said Kenneth Clark, president of WinnipegREALTORS®. “However, as they say, one month does not make a year so we are cautiously optimistic.

On a  positive note, mortgage rates are remaining historically low with the Bank of Canada signaling a wait and see approach on any interest rate increases this year. Buyers have also had over a year to adjust to the B-20 mortgage regulation rules which came in to effect on January 1, 2018.

“The noticeable bump up in new listings includes some of those move –up buyers last year that decided to remain on the sidelines to figure out what they could afford to buy based on the new mortgage regulations," said Clark. “Helping make it easier for them to enter our housing market this year is a combination of a healthy supply of available listings to choose from at affordable prices." 

No better example of affordable prices came by way of the condo sales activity in January 2019. In what is more the exception than the rule in our local market, there were 34 sales under $150,000 compared to 12 in January 2018. A number of these units sold for as low as $31,500 with total square footage of less than 500 square feet.  56% of total condo sales went for less than $200,000.

For comparison purposes, 22% of residential-detached or single family homes sold for less than $200,000. On the other end of the price spectrum, the highest-priced single family home sold for $910,000 while a condominium sold for $832,229.

 WinnipegREALTORS® just held its annual forecast breakfast and indicated that sales should outpace 2018 while prices will remain stable. The condo property type in particular is experiencing an elevated supply of listings going into 2019 so will be one to watch closely.

“Knowing which questions to ask with a myriad of terms and conditions to consider is best left to a REALTOR®- an experienced negotiator who can be objective about the buying process," said Marina R. James, CEO of WinnipegREALTORS®. “Our REALTORS® are there to serve your interest in achieving the  best outcome for you."

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WINNIPEG  - In comparison to a near record year in 2017, 2018 held its own with sales down 5% from 2017 and 6% from the best year on record in 2016. Sales of 12,773 are down less than 3% from the five – year average and 1% lower than the 10-year average.

Annual dollar volume on the other hand of $3.77 billion decreased less than 4% from 2017 and is up nearly 3% from the five-year average.

The 23,834 listings entered on the MLS® in 2018 rose 2% over 2017. There are 3,235 listings available for sale at the end of 2018.

“Keeping things in perspective, with some of the headwinds we faced in 2018 with higher interest rates and  more stringent mortgage qualification requirements, it should be no surprise that 2018 fell short of our best years on record," said Chris Dudeck, outgoing president of WinnipegREALTORS®.  “Simply put, we believe fewer buyers were able to qualify and successfully complete a purchase they wished to make in 2018."

Dudeck added, “I see 2018 as more policy-induced retraction, albeit a modest one, than changes in key market factors from 2017." Market metrics are closely aligned between the two years.  For example, in terms of achieving a total sales price dollar value ratio close to total list price dollar value in 2018 for single family homes which sold, the annual ratio compares very favourably – 98.48% versus 98.59% in 2017. Another metric to note is average days to sell a home or condo in 2018 only took one day longer than 2017."

Sales transacted in both single-family homes and condominiums were only one day off the number of days on average it took to sell them in 2017. One of the main reasons the WinnipegREALTORS® market region was less affected in comparison to some other housing markets is its favourable housing affordability.

The December 2018 RBC Housing Trends and Affordability Report indicates “ownership costs remain well under control". The measure of 31% for the third quarter (the percentage of median pre-tax household income required to service the cost of mortgage payments, property taxes and utilities based on the average market price of the aggregate of all housing types) is very close to the long-run average of 29.5%. The RBC Report states: “The slowdown in activity in 2018 has been orderly with demand and supply remaining in balance overall, although the condo segment showed more visible signs of weakness."

Speaking of prices, the average residential-detached or single family home sales price in 2018 was $321,945, a very modest increase of 2% over 2017.

Two MLS® areas least impacted by buyer challenges were the southwest zone of Winnipeg and the rural municipalities surrounding Winnipeg.  The former saw sales decline under 1%, while the latter rural zone decreased 1% in comparison to sales generated in 2017. The rural zone continues to represent the highest percentage of sales of all MLS® areas at over 26%.

Over half of the residential-detached sales in 2018 occurred under $300,000 with another 28% selling from $300,000 to $399,999. The 9,287 sales represented nearly $3 billion in dollar volume with the most expensive home selling for $2.6 million.

Nearly 90 % of all condominium sales in 2018 were under $350,000 with the $150,000 to $199,999 price range the most active with 27% of total condominium sales. There were 1,638 transactions worth $391 million. The highest-priced condominium sold for $1,200,000.

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WINNIPEG - November MLS® sales of 864 are right in line with expected sales generated for this month. Sales decreased less than 2% from November 2017 and below 1% from the 5-year November average. This now makes for two months in a row of solid sales for the fourth quarter and this time of year. 

“Buyers and sellers are making the adjustments necessary to complete sales and end the month off on a positive note," said Chris Dudeck. “We have reason to remain optimistic that December will finish off strong and conclude a year where sales have moderated from the busiest years on record in 2016 and 2017." 

 Year-to-date sales of 12,235 are down 5% from the same period in 2017 while dollar volume of $3.6 billion decreased 3% from 2017.  Sales are closely aligned with the three previous years to 2016 which is WinnipegREALTORS® best year on record at 13, 632 sales. 

To reaffirm and dispel any notion that the real estate market is not a year round activity, new listings in November at 1,400 increased 8% over November 2017. 

“While some get caught up in holiday shopping with retail outlets teeming with foot traffic, there are many more shoppers looking at our real estate offerings in the MLS® market," said Dudeck.  “There are over 4,000 listings to choose from as we head into the last month of the year." 

In November, while residential-detached or single family home sales of 610 were down ever so modestly at less than 2% or just 11 sales. Condominiums had one of its best Novembers on record at 122 sales, a 10% increase over November 2017. 

Price range sales activity  in November for these two main property types shows how both compared to large housing markets in the country are more affordable and within the local market how condominiums offer less expensive options for buyers. 

For residential-detached sales, all price ranges from $150,000 to $399,999 were in double-digit percentages with the $250,000 to $299,999 highest at 19%. Together they captured 70% of total residential-detached sales. 

On the other hand, condominium price ranges which were all in double-digit percentages went from $100,000 to $299,999 with the $200,000 to $249,999 price range most active at 26%. They represented 81% of total sales. 

In terms of how long it took on average to sell these properties in November, residential-detached properties was 38 days, one week quicker than condominiums. The highest home and condominium sale prices were $1,600,000 and $644,255 respectively. 

“Taking stock of your year should include reaching out to your REALTOR® to ascertain where you are as a homeowner or one looking to buy in the next year," said Marina R. James, CEO of WinnipegREALTORS®. “REALTORS® know the market and can advise you accordingly."
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WINNIPEG – October MLS® sales of 1,107 increased 8% over October 2017 and 1% over the 5 –year average for this month.  Sales rebounded and actually outsold a slower performing September as usually it is the other way around. 

A record was set with the highest dollar volume ever achieved for the month of October. Just under $330 million was transacted this October, a 13% increase over October 2017. 

Year-to- date sales of 11,371 are down 5% from the same period in 2017 while dollar volume of $3.36 billion is just shy of 4% off the record pace in 2017. Listings entered on the MLS® to the end of October are slightly ahead of last year with both respective years over 21,000 listings. The big difference behind fewer sales in 2018 is 52.6% of listings sold compared to 56.5% in 2017. 

“October results showed how our local market despite some challenges can quickly rebound and deliver solid results," said Chris Dudeck, president of WinnipegREALTORS®.  “There still remains a wide range and selection of properties for sale with two months to year end." ​

As for specific property types, both residential-detached and condominium sales activity in October were right in line with their 5-year average for this month of 798 and 143 respectively.  Where these two depart in similarity is in the percentage of new listings which sold in October; 67% for residential-detached versus 50% for condominiums. 

The average sales price for these two property types diverged as well from October 2017. In October 2018 six homes sold for over $1 million with one selling for $1.9 million. This helped propel the average residential-detached sales price up 4% to $324,786. On the other hand, condominiums had an unusually strong average sales price in October 2017 of $254,187 so no surprise it was not as high in October 2018 at $234,509. 

The year-to- date average residential-detached sales price rose to $323,001, a 2% increase over the same period a year ago. While the condominium year-to-date average sales price of $239,349 experienced a drop of less than 2% from 2017. 

The most notable market region area to contribute to the increased residential-detached sales this October was from the outlying rural municipalities. Compared to the same month last year, rural sales increased 26% and also represented 26% of the total residential-detached sales. 

Another area which performed well in October was the southeast quadrant of Winnipeg. It had the second largest percentage increase at 13%. In respect to condominium sales, the southwest quadrant of Winnipeg showed the biggest improvement in outperforming last October's condo sales with a 16% increase or 13 more sales. 

“Looking ahead to November and the end of the year, a real positive to build on for Manitoba is the economic indicator showing U.S. exports increased 21.9% in the first eight months of 2018, first among provinces," said Dudeck. “This is very encouraging knowing a new NAFTA/USMCA agreement has been signed to give more certainty and confidence to Manitoba businesses which are dependent on exporting their products and services south of the border." 

“Only a REALTOR® can help you decipher all the subtleties and nuances inherent in the ebb and flow of a dynamic housing market," said Marina R. James, CEO of WinnipegREALTORS®. “Reach out to your REALTOR® if you have any questions about what is happening in your neighbourhood."

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WINNIPEG - September sales of 1,046 were disappointing as they fell 12% in comparison to September 2017 and were off 9% from September’s 5-year average of 1,156 sales. On the other hand, new listings were up 6% and inventory of 5,134 listings grew by 11% over the same time last year.

Year-to-date sales activity shows sales of 10,264 are down 7% over the same period in 2017 while dollar volume has decreased 5% to $3.0 billion. Listings entered on the MLS® at the end of September are 19,771, up less than 2% from 2017.

If you look back before 2016 and 2017, the best years ever on record where sales after nine months were right around 11,000, year-to-date sales are very much in line with 2015 and 2014 and much closer to 2013 in total sales.

“Winnipeg’s resilient market is being tested this year in light of newly tightened federal mortgage regulations and it is preventing a number of prospective buyers from entering our market,” said Chris Dudeck, president of WinnipegREALTORS®. He added, “ The lack of new entrants to a housing market compounds matters further as the cascade effect of more sales occurring further up the real estate ladder is muted due to sellers unable to move on with their plans to buy a home if theirs does not sell.”

We also need to keep things in perspective how Winnipeg and the outlying metropolitan region housing market is performing relative to many other housing markets across the country. At a Canadian Real Estate Association national conference held this month, delegates were told 50 local markets are down more than 10% and 75 out of 101 markets are experiencing declining sales activity in comparison to year-to-date sales in 2017.

“As always, both buyers and sellers need to consult with their REALTOR to develop a strategy to navigate our current market conditions,” said Dudeck.

In September there were 5 million dollar plus single family home sales with one selling for $2 million. The lowest sales price was $44,500. For condominiums, one unit sold for close to $1 million at $964, 950 while the lowest one went for $66,500.

The average days to sell a residential-detached or single family home was 32 days while for condominiums it was a week longer at 39 days.

A real positive for the Manitoba economy going into the last three months of the year is the recently signed United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. It should bring more certainty and economic stability to what was concerning for many Manitoba businesses which rely on exporting their goods and products south of the border.

One of the most important components you need to take into account when selling a home is strategy”, said Marina R. James, CEO of WinnipegREALTORS®. “Your REALTOR® knows strategy and will help you navigate through complex issues from start to finish.”
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WINNIPEG - August sales of 1,274 are down 1% from August 2017 and up 1% over the 5-year average. Dollar volume of $375 million in August was down less than 1% from August 2017. Inventory of 5,163 MLS® listings at the end of August is up 7% over 2017.

Year-to-date sales of 9,218 are off 6% from the same period last year while year-to-date dollar volume of $2.73 billion is down 4% from 2017. Total listings of 17,619 have been entered on the MLS® this year and are slightly ahead of 2017. Where the difference is greater between the two years is in how many of these listings have been sold. There have been 52% sold this year compared to 56% in 2017.

“We have said all along this year that we are comparing our sales activity to one of our best years on record so we have every reason to remain optimistic about our market this year,” said Chris Dudeck, president of WinnipegREALTORS®. “As shown last month, Winnipeg remains a stable and resilient market with a real upside in terms of its affordability.”

Speaking of affordability, a September 4th release by the National Bank of Canada of their Housing Affordability Monitor shows Winnipeg and local buyers in particular remain in a very favourable position, especially in comparison to higher-priced housing markets in the country.

The Monitor examines the required mortgage payment on a median-priced home as a percentage of median income for a 5-year term with a 25-year amortization period. Income to buy a representative Winnipeg home of $318,610 is $56,989 while for a representative condo priced at $229,426 the household income needed is $41,037. Saving for the down payment is 28 months for a home and 20 for a condo.

In comparison, Victoria requires 121 months of saving for a home down payment and 48 for a condo based on their much higher median prices. You need an income of $151,611 to buy the $847,619 median-priced home.

Reinforcing the Winnipeg Metropolitan Region market’s housing affordability in August is the fact nearly 50% of all residential-detached sales were under $300,000 with another 17% selling from $300,000 to $349,999. 78% of all condo sales in August were under $300,000.

While the majority of sales activity occurred in more affordable price ranges, this is not to say the upper end of the residential-detached market did not fare well in August compared to August 2017. There were 81 sales of $500,000 and above (6 sold for over $1 million), a 16% increase over last August.

Going into September buyers should also be happy to know the Bank of Canada decided to not increase its overnight rate of 1.5 % as some economists thought possible. The next date for a potential rate increase is October 24, 2018.

“Buyers are in a good position to begin their search in our local market as it has a healthy supply of affordable listings to choose from”, said Dudeck. “With summer vacation over and the children back in school there is no need to put off your buying intentions any longer.”

“REALTORS® are experts in knowing the local market and specific property types you may be interested in purchasing,” said Marina R. James, CEO of WinnipegREALTORS®. “They can offer you objective advice so you can make an informed decision on what best suits your needs.”
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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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