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Our local real estate market 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 $3238, 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.”

Do you know anyone thinking about buying or selling their home?

Tell them to call your REALTOR® Lynne&Jason :)

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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.
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.
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 sure to reach out to Lynne&Jason to help navigate our local real estate market.
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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- set-ting 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 Febru-ary. 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 govern-ment’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 - 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.
The chart below shows how each of the geographic areas within Winnipeg performed with respect to their average home sales price as well as the area representing rural municipalities. All areas saw slight increases over 2017 with the exception of the southeast area where its price equaled last year’s result.
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.
“I am proud of how our REALTOR® members worked so hard this past year to meet both buyer and seller expectations given that were more financing issues to overcome.” said Marina R. James, CEO of WinnipegREALTORS®. REALTORS® operate in an ever-changing real estate industry and continually update their knowledge so their clients are supported through the buying and selling process.”
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October 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.”

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

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

“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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The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos identify professional services rendered by REALTOR® members of CREA to effect the purchase, sale and lease of real estate as part of a cooperative selling system.
MLS®, REALTOR®, and the associated logos are trademarks of The Canadian Real Estate Association.