FIRST QUARTER SALES UP 6% OVER 2018


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 spring market,” 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.”
 
WinnipegREALTORS® March 2019 Market Update
 
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 condominium average 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 the
recent changes to the HBP and PST, we have much to be optimistic about.

RECORD START TO 2019


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 the best start on record for January in our local real estate market,” said Kenneth Clark, president of WinnipegREALTORS®. “However, as they say, one month does not make a year so we remain 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 into effect 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.
WinnipegREALTORS® January 2019 Market Update
 
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. 
 
 
 

November Holds Firm for this time of year


November holds firm for this time of year
 
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.”
November 2018 Real Estate Market Update - WinnipegREALTORS®
 
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.”

OCT STATS WINNIPEG AND AREA


 
Strong start to fourth quarter
 
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.”
October 2018 WinnipegREALTORS® Market Update
 
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.”
 

Aug Sales report Winnipeg and Area


August MLS® sales down 1%
 
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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