Kelly Fernandez

Prepare To Be Moved

** Article and all content has been written by Winnipeg Realtors and not Kelly Fernandez **


December to remember brings a successful 2019 to a great close


WINNIPEG - December sales of 674 were exceptional — up 25% over the same month in 2018 and 8% above the 5-year average. As a result, activity this month propel year-end sales to the highest level on record at 13,662, a 7% increase over 2018 and slightly ahead of the 13,632 MLS® sales transacted in 2016.
 
Similarly, December’s impressive dollar volume of close to $200 million pushed the year-end dollar volume total over the $4 billion threshold level for the first time. Dollar volume in 2019 of $4.059 billion rose over 7% compared to 2018.
 
Last year also ushered in the highest number of listings entered on WinnipegREALTORS® MLS®. The 25,741 listings increased 8% over 2018 and 6% above the 5-year average. The percentage of MLS® listings selling or what is referred to as the sales-to-listings ratio is still within 2% of the 5-year average. Notable in 2019 is that residential-detached listings sold, on average, for 98% of their list price.
 
“December market results are not only indicative of a strong second half to 2019 but a very active year as a whole,” said Kenneth Clark, outgoing president of WinnipegREALTORS®. “Buyers in particular benefited from a healthy supply of listings and sales gains across most MLS® property types show they were actively engaged in the 2019 real estate market.”
 
It is important to note 2019 saw an increase in overall MLS® activity as a result of welcoming new rural brokerage offices, such as ones in the South Central Plains MLS® area (e.g. Winkler, Morden and Altona), onto the WinnipegREALTORS® MLS®. They formerly had been on the Manitoba Real Estate Association (MREA) MLS®. As they were main contributors to MREA’s MLS® market activity in previous years, their contribution to WinnipegREALTORS®’ MLS® in 2019 was instrumental in generating higher listings, sales and dollar volume totals.
 
The city of Winnipeg remains the dominant selling area within WinnipegREALTORS® market region with 71% of residential-detached and nearly 85% of condominium sales. However, when it comes to vacant lot sales, of which there were 502 in 2019, rural MLS® areas dominate with over 90% of total sales.
 
WinnipegREALTORS® market region showed very little change in average 2019 residential-detached and condominium sale prices in comparison to 2018. The 2019 average residential-detached sales price was $324,122 versus $321,945 in 2018. Condominiums showed less than a $1,000 difference with a slight decrease from $238,916 in 2019 to $238,088 in 2018.
 
Speaking of the main MLS® zones within Winnipeg and those many MLS® rural areas outside Winnipeg, average residential-detached sale prices in 2019 were remarkably similar to 2018. The biggest gain at 3.5% was the Winnipeg west MLS® zone (north of Assiniboine River). It went from $251,588 in 2018 to $260,453 in 2019. The only decrease was in the rural MLS® zone which saw its average sales price drop from $308,320 to $305,035. The highest average sales price is in the southwest Winnipeg MLS® zone at $426,573.
 
As for sales, the rural MLS® zone saw a 16% jump in sales activity due primarily to the significant increase in activity in the South Central Plains MLS® area on WinnipegREALTORS®’ MLS®. The only drop in sales activity was in the Winnipeg west MLS® zone. It was a very modest 2.6%.
 
For the two main property types, residential-detached and condominiums, total sales were up 5% and 7% respectively compared to last year. There were 9,788 residential-detached sales and 1,750 condo sales. While representing less than 5% of total MLS® market share, single-attached properties really stood out in 2019 with 640 sales, a 24% increase over 2018.
 
Affordability remains firmly intact as nearly three out of four condominium sales in 2019 were at prices under $300,000, whereas 76% of residential-detached sold for under $400,000 with nearly one in two selling for under $300,000.
 
The highest residential-detached home to sell in 2019 was for $2,290,000, while the most expensive condominium to sell was $1,300,000.
 
“2019 is testimony to our hard-working REALTORS® really stepping up to lead WinnipegREALTORS® to a record number of transactions,” said Marina R. James, CEO of WinnipegREALTORS®. “REALTORS® expertise and knowledge came to the fore in making a listing stand out in what has been a very competitive marketplace this year.”
 
For more information and insights on the local market and what lies ahead in 2020, WinnipegREALTORS® is proud to be hosting its annual Forecast Breakfast on Wednesday, January 29. The high impact event will shed more light and details on what may happen in the local housing and commercial market in 2020. Headlining this very informative breakfast is BMO Chief Economist Douglas Porter. The theme this year is 2020 Vision and all presenters will look ahead to our next decade.


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** Article and all content has been written by Winnipeg Realtors and not Kelly Fernandez **


November MLS® Activity Maintains Strong Pace in 2019
 
WINNIPEG - November sales, dollar volume and listings contributed to a strong second half finish to 2019.
 
November’s 902 sales transacted on WinnipegREALTORS® MLS® were up 4% over November 2018 and on record to be the second time sales eclipsed 900 in this month. Dollar volume of $270.8 million is the highest for the month of November and increased nearly 10% over November 2018.
 
Listings continue their record-setting pace this year with an 18% increase over November 2018 in new listings coming to market. Active listings or inventory at the end of November is sitting at 21% above last year with over 5,000 listings available for sale. 
 
“Manitobans are actively engaged in our real estate market this year given the extent of MLS® listing and sales activity we are experiencing,” said Kenneth Clark, president of WinnipegREALTORS®. “The recovery we predicted in 2019 over 2018 has come to fruition.” 


Year-to-date sales of 12,988 are up 6% over the same period of time in 2018 and already ahead of last year’s annual total. Depending on how December 2019 concludes, a new sales record is conceivable. Year-to date sales are 27 sales behind the best year on record for the first 11 months in 2016.


Year-to-date dollar volume of $3.86 billion, which is 7% higher than last year and with only a month to go, is on pace to set a new annual dollar volume record. 


“Seeing the number of REALTOR® members grow this year with more activity of members in rural areas where we have not been as active in previous years is helping make 2019 a banner year”, said Clark.


Improvement in sales over 2018 has not only been in residential-detached and condominiums which make up 85% of all MLS® sales, but other property types have enjoyed stellar performances such as single-attached properties with over 600 sales and close to a 5% share of total MLS® sales. Vacant land sales have also done well with 466 sales. Duplex sales are up 20% over 2018 with 187 sales.


Speaking of residential-detached sales, the November average sales price of $327,485 was skewed higher than normal with 8 sales that were one million or higher compared to 4 last November. There were also 65 sales of $500,000 or higher in 2019 compared to 47 in 2018.


Similarly, the November average condominium sales price of $249,681 was skewed higher with a $1 million plus sale and 9 sales of half a million or more compared to 3 in November 2018.


The most active price range for residential-detached sales in November was from $250,000 to $299,999 at 24% while condominiums were busiest from $150,000 to $199,999 at 26%.


“While too big to fit under your tree, looking for a property to buy in the festive season has never been better,” said Clark. “So many options to choose from and our local market delivers great value on a wide price range of MLS® properties.”


“Tis the season to be buying so if you find yourself in the market for a home, you need to be contacting your REALTOR®”, said Marina R. James, CEO of WinnipegREALTORS®. “REALTORS® are local market experts who can guide you through the entire process and find the home right for you.”


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** Article and all content has been written by Winnipeg Realtors and not Kelly Fernandez **


Brisk October MLS® Sales Continue Third Quarter Momentum


WINNIPEG - October sales of 1,173 increased 6% over October 2018 and are the same percentage above the 5-year sales average for this month. October dollar volume of close to $342 million resulted in an increase of less than 4% over the same month in 2018.
 
Active listings or current inventory of 5,419 remain elevated over last year at this time. They are up 18%. New listings entered on the MLS® in October of 1,958 rose 6% over October 2018. This is a more modest increase in listings compared to double-digit increases every month in the third quarter.
 
“We are starting to see adjustments in new listings activity to be more in line with last year,” said Ken Clark, president of WinnipegREALTORS®. “The healthy supply of listings we are enjoying this year is contributing to strong sales as buyers take advantage of our wide selection of offerings.”
 
Rural single family sales are taking a larger market share as represented 31% of total sales in September and October. This compares to 28% and 26% for the same months in 2018.
 
Year-to-date MLS® market activity totals 12,086 sales, a 6% increase over the same period last year and now places WinnipegREALTORS® in a position to reach its highest annual sales level ever. Only the record year of 2016 has 52 more sales in the first 10 months. Year-to-date dollar volume at close to $3.6 billion is ahead of last year by 7% and is on pace to set a new all-time high for the Winnipeg Metro Region.
 
In terms of prices, the greater listings supply has made it more competitive and affordable for buyers. In October the vast majority or percentage of listings sold at or below list price for both single family (87%) and condominium (93%) property types. As a consequence, the average residential-detached or single family house sales price of $315,889 this October is down 2.7% from the same month last year while the condominium average sales price of $227,878 is down 2.8%.
 
60% of total single family house sales occurred from $200,000 to $399,999 with the most active price range accounting for 22% of sales being from $250,000 to $299,999. For condominiums, 51% of total sales were from $150,000 to $249,999 with the $150,000 to $199,999 price range most active at 28%.
 
The highest sale price in October for the single family property type was $1,250,000 while the most expensive condominium sale was $612,037.
 
“For all the talk of keeping the mortgage stress test and the current amortization period of 25 years for insured mortgages intact (e.g. concern over higher house prices), it should not be lost on Canadians how different regional markets are from coast to coast,” said Clark. ““WinnipegREALTORS® housing market is much better supplied than a number of other housing markets throughout the country.”
 
“ We are committed to supporting our over 1,940 REALTORS® with the digital tools and services necessary for them to stay up-to-date and deliver superior services through the buying and selling process,” said Marina R. James, CEO of Winnipeg REALTORS®.


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** Article and all content has been written by Winnipeg Realtors and not Kelly Fernandez **


September caps off a resurgent third quarter


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 $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.”
 
“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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** Article and all content has been written by Winnipeg Realtors and not Kelly Fernandez **


Condo sales propel August to a record month
 
WINNIPEGA 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.”
 
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 2,080 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.
 
The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by CREA and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA.
 
For further information, contact Peter Squire at (204) 786-8854. 
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** Article and all content has been written by Winnipeg Realtors and not Kelly Fernandez **


WinnipegREALTORS® sets dollar volume record in month of July
 
WINNIPEGThe 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.”
 
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 2,050 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.
 
The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by CREA and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA.
 
For further information, contact Peter Squire at (204) 786-8854. 
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** Article and all content has been written by Winnipeg Realtors and not Kelly Fernandez **


June sales just shy of last June’s market activity


WINNIPEGJune 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.”

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 2,050 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.
 
The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by CREA and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA.
 
For further information, contact Peter Squire at (204) 786-8854. 


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** Article and all content has been written by Winnipeg Realtors and not Kelly Fernandez **


WINNIPEG - May sales of 1,705 is the first time WinnipegREALTORS® has reached and eclipsed the 1,700 threshold mark for any month including May. It also broke new ground for any month with sales dollar volume vaulting over one-half billion to $526 million. The previous record set in May 2017 just fell short of the half billion dollar mark at $499.4 million while sales were only 4 below 1,700.
 
In relation to the same month last year, sales rose 13% while dollar volume increased 15%. New listings were impressive too with over 3,000 entered on the MLS® in May – a 7% increase compared to May 2017. This leaves 5,689 listings available for sale in June.
 
“These records are a true testament to a real team effort by our 1,890 REALTOR® members who cooperate every day to serve buyers and sellers in our local market,” said Ken Clark, president of WinnipegREALTORS®.  “It shows how our market region extends well beyond Winnipeg to encompass southeastern Manitoba”. 
 
What are referred to as rural sales or those outside city of Winnipeg boundaries were the difference maker from the previous record May 2017. Their percentage of total single family sales went from 24% to 29%. Deserving special mention is WinnipegREALTORS® R35 MLS® area which is called South Central Plains and includes the cities of Winkler and Morden. Owing to having REALTORS® in this area join the association this year and list their properties on our MLS® system, property sales went from 8 in May 2018 to 64 this May.
 
“We are absolutely delighted to have more rural members joining and participating on our MLS®, “said Clark. “ Like other major cities in Canada our market region has always reached out to rural municipalities and cottage country.”
 
The record month of May boosted year-to-date sales to 5,295, a 5% increase over the same period in 2018. Dollar volume closed in on nearly $1.6 billion worth of sales resulting in a 7% increase. The over 11,000 listings entered on MLS® for the first five months this year shows a 6% increase over 2018.
 
On a real positive note, all MLS® property types performed better in May 2019 than May 2018 with town house and single attached properties sales both up 40% over the same month last year. All percentage increases were in the double-digits with the exception of vacant land and duplexes.
 
Even with the strong influx of new MLS® listings in May the high absorption rate of listings being converted to sales leaves 3.3 months of inventory remaining for June. This result biases overall market towards more of a sellers’ market however it really does vary according to MLS® areas and property type.
 
Some MLS® areas where single family home listing inventory clearly needed to be replenished based on May sales were River Heights, Crescentwood, Charleswood, Waverley Heights, Whyte Ridge, St. Norbert, St. Boniface, St. Vital, Windsor Park, East Kildonan, North Kildonan, Sun Valley, West Transcona, Canterbury Park, Garden City, Tyndall Park, Maples, St. James and Westwood.
 
For condominiums it is a far different situation with more inventory available based on current demand.
 
Affordability continues to be a strength of the local real estate market with nearly half of single family homes selling for under $300,000 and 74% of condos selling below this price.
 
“Winnipeg and the surrounding rural MLS® areas offer some of the most affordable housing in the country,” said Clark. “Buyers are availing themselves of this great opportunity.”
 
“In a record month such as we just completed our REALTORS® really came to the forefront in executing all of the necessary legwork and details to finalize a successful sale,” said Marina R. James, CEO of WinnipegREALTORS®.
 
Since 1903, WinnipegREALTORS® has assisted its members in achieving high levels of excellence in organized real estate by providing superior tools and services that enhance and build a vibrant real estate industry. Representing over 2,030 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.
 
The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by CREA and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA.
 
For further information, contact Peter Squire at (204) 786-8854. 
 


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** Article and all content has been written by Winnipeg Realtors and not Kelly Fernandez **


April MLS® sales slip back modestly from April 2018  
 
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.”
 
“Keeping a close pulse on any changes to the housing market is what REALTORS® do,” said Marina R. James, CEO of WinnipegREALTORS®. “If you are selling or buying, your REALTOR® is one call, email or text away.”
 
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 2,000 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.
 
The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by CREA and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA.
 
For further information, contact Peter Squire at (204) 786-8854. 


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It’s nothing new that home staging is a wise move. After all, it has the potential to increase the final sales price of your home by 6 to 20 percent. But what you may not realize is that it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg to do it. After all, who needs more expenses when you’re moving? If you’re short on cash but want to speed up your home sale and possibly increase that final dollar amount, here are some budget-friendly home staging tips.


Declutter


The first step to home staging is about as budget-friendly as you can get — because it’s free. Donate or trash items such as clothes, extra furniture, books and knick-knacks – anything that’s not being used or that you no longer need. Go through the pantry and donate canned goods to a local food drive. Sift through piles of random papers and shred and recycle what you don’t need.


Hold a pre-moving sale


Hold a garage sale to get rid of what you won’t be taking with you when you move. Not only will you declutter, you’ll also make some extra cash for other home upgrades. Don’t feel like doing a traditional yard sale? Download OfferUp or another buy-and-sell marketplace app to sell your items.


Borrow from friends


A good rule of thumb with home staging is to furnish and stage every room in your home so that no room is left empty. To save costs, you can borrow furniture from friends and family, or you could split up the furniture in other rooms of your home to round out the less furnished rooms. Borrow the treadmill your sister no longer uses and the weight lifting bench in the garage to transform an empty bedroom into a home gym, or add a desk and cabinet to your guest room to help buyers envision both a guest room or home office in that space.


Consider portable storage


After getting rid of the items you no longer want, it’s time to empty your home of excess furniture items, quirky art, and any personal items that may be distracting to buyers. A portable storage container is a popular cost-effective option because it conveniently combines moving and storage.

Here’s how it works: A driver delivers your storage container to your home to fill at your leisure. Once you’ve loaded the items you’re storing, the driver picks up the container and takes it to a nearby storage facility. When your home is sold, have your container re-delivered to your door, fill it with the rest of your stuff, and ta-da! You’re all ready to move. Some portable storage providers can move your container long-distance. For instance, PODS can move your container to your new home even if it’s across the country, in Hawaii, or in some parts of Canada. A solution such as this that combines moving and storage can help reduce the costs of moving by eliminating the need to rent a storage unit or moving trucks multiple times. Moving long-distance with a container can also be significantly less expensive than using a traditional full-service moving company.


Grab your paint brush


Want to transform your home cheaply? Painting gives you the best bang for your buck if you if you’re looking to give your place a makeover. Light, neutral colors are great for staging. If you’re really tight on cash, opt for touch-ups or pick key walls in high-traffic areas to repaint.


Make tiny upgrades that make a big difference


Make your home feel fresh and new on the cheap with some inexpensive updates to hardware, lighting, and faucets. Even new outlet plate covers, vent covers, and kitchen cabinet hardware can give your place a facelift. You don’t even need to buy anything fancy – just shiny and new.


Decorate on a budget


Some simple décor updates can have a surprisingly effective impact on the way buyers view your home. Replace your old, boldly colored shower curtain with a cheap but tasteful curtain. Cover up stained or old couches and chairs with affordable slipcovers. Add some homey cushions to the living room. Just remember to keep things neutral – it’s not the time to express your unique personality! Save that for your new home.

While redoing your flooring or putting in new kitchen cabinets would be ideal, it doesn’t have to take much money to give your home a makeover and make it appealing to buyers. With a little time and creativity, you can turn your soon-to-be-sold home into a beautiful space and have some fun while you’re at it. Good luck with your move!


This post is intended for informational purposes only and should not be taken as professional advice. The point of view and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of Realty Executives International. This guest post was written by PODS®. PODS® makes moving and storage more convenient and less stressful through its innovative solution of delivering a level container and providing the customer all the time they need to load and unload their container.
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To maximize your sale price, you need to make sure your house is available to buyers. Even when they want to visit at an inconvenient time with little notice.


Keeping your home show-ready around the clock can be stressful, but we have a few easy tips and tricks to make sure your house always shows its best (even on short notice).


Take care of the Deep Clean before the house hits the market


Before officially listing your house for sale, invest in a deep clean. Taking the time to thoroughly scrub the house before it hits the market will make it much easier to maintain day-to-day throughout the listing period.

And this deep clean goes beyond cleaning. Yes, you want every visible surface to shine, but there are a few more steps to take at this stage to make the house truly show-ready.  


Like decluttering and depersonalizing. Removing all the clutter helps the house to appear larger and more inviting. And removing personal items like family photos and unique collections will help potential buyers to feel more at home in the space. And the more at home they feel, the more likely they are to make an offer!


Squeeze in a quick straightening every morning


To maintain the show-readiness of your house, you just need to spend a little time straightening up each morning.


Stylish storage bins are the perfect tool to make this process quick and painless. Daily life clutter like toiletries, mail, and kids’ toys can be tossed in a bin and instantly hidden from sight.

After that, just run through the house quickly to make sure that:  

  1. Dishes and laundry are put away
  2. The beds are made
  3. Curtains and blinds are open to let in the light
  4. The house smells fresh
  5. Everything is generally in its place

Plan to be away from the house during showings


Buyers generally aren’t able to feel at home when the sellers are present. Give your potential buyers the freedom to relax in the house and imagine themselves living there by staying away from the house during showings.


This includes pets. Many people are afraid of animals. And many others have pet allergies. Even if your potential buyers love animals, your pets may actually hurt your prospects by distracting the buyers when they should be focusing on the house.


Create a plan to get everyone out of the house with little notice. Make a little “go bag” with everything you‘ll need to keep yourself, your kids and your pets away from home for a bit. Maybe do some shopping or enjoy some time at the park while the house is being shown.

 

If you work away from home, you might want to make workday arrangements for kids and pets. Perhaps they could stay with family or go to daycare so you won’t have to leave work to round them up if there’s a short-notice showing.


Keeping your house show-ready 24/7 may require a little extra time and effort. But these tips will minimize the inconvenience and maximize selling potential. Plus any hassle will be worth it when your house fetches top dollar because it shows well!


This post is intended for informational purposes only and should not be taken as professional advice. This post was written by Michelle Clardie. Michelle is a professional real estate blogger, specializing in ghostwriting Realtor® blogs. Her engaging content helps real estate agents become more visible online, generate more qualified leads, and increase their revenues. You can learn more at www.michelleclardie.com.

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** Article and all content has been written by Winnipeg Realtors and not Kelly Fernandez **



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.”

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.
 
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.
 
The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by CREA and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA.
 
For further information, contact Peter Squire at (204) 786-8854. 
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Spring is finally here, and that means it’s time for spring cleaning!


Here are some spring cleaning and organization tips to help you feel motivated and refreshed at the start of a new season.


List Your Priorities


First thing’s first: you should make a list of your goals and priorities for your home this season. Do you have enough time for a thorough, deep cleaning of your home, or do you instead want to target specific areas and rooms? Do you have a lot of things you need to donate or throw away, or are you focusing more on getting organized? List your spring cleaning priorities in order of importance so you can tackle everything as needed.

Put Away Seasonal Items


Before you start cleaning your home, it can be helpful to first put away the things you don’t need for this season. Set aside all of the winter items in your home so you can organize them and put them away since you won’t be needing them this spring. By putting away seasonal items, you can visualize your home as it will look in the spring without seeing any of the clutter that winter decor and items may have caused.


Do a Once-over of Each Room


As you get ready to clean and organize, you can go through each room one by one, assessing what needs to be done. Chances are, some areas of your home are in need of more TLC than others. As you go through each area, you can throw away anything that you know is garbage, set aside the things you want to donate, and make a more specific note of what needs to be organized.


Clean Larger Appliances and Furniture


Cleaning larger appliances and furniture can often be tiresome and eventful, but you could feel a great sense of accomplishment after you tackle these time-consuming chores. Cleaning the fridge and stove, vacuuming under large items like the sofa and dining table, and giving bulky furniture pieces a good dusting can almost instantly breathe new life into your home. Bonus points if you dust your blinds and have your curtains washed!

Organize Your Fridge, Pantry, and Other Storage Areas


If you want to take spring cleaning as an opportunity to get organized, start with the areas of your home that you frequent the most: your fridge, pantry, and other storage areas. In your kitchen and bathroom, move the items that will spoil or expire sooner toward the front, along with anything you are frequently using. You can also purchase drawer or cabinet organizers so and label your shelves or storage bins to encourage you and your household to continue to keep organized. Organizing the areas you access most often may even inspire you to tackle the areas of your home that you may tend to forget about, or even the ones that may overwhelm you, like your closet.


Don’t Feel Pressured


Finally, don’t let the idea of spring cleaning cause you to feel pressured or overwhelmed. Cleaning and organizing your entire home can often be a stressful task, so it’s important to recognize when you need a break. If spring cleaning is overwhelming to you, tackle each area or item one by one, or recruit a friend to help you in the process. You can even get the whole family involved to make spring cleaning feel less like a chore that you are doing all on your own. Remember that you are in control of your home.


This post is intended for informational purposes only and should not be taken as professional advice. The point of view and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of Realty Executives International. This post was written by Bailee Abell. Bailee Abell is a writer born and raised in California. A graduate of University of California, Santa Barbara, she loves reading classic literature, sipping warm beverages, and visiting theme parks every chance she gets. Find her at baileeabell.com

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Home renovations offer the perfect opportunity to upgrade the functionality of your home, in addition to modernizing the design and feel of your space.


Here are five clever features you should consider including in your next renovation to elevate your home’s functionality.


1. Smart Systems


Today’s homes are smart. They incorporate technology to make our lives safer, easier, more energy efficient, and more enjoyable.

If you’re renovating, you’d be wise to include a smart system that can handle these tasks for you:


  • Lighting: Lights on a motion sensor can save on energy usage, and lights on automatic timers give the impression that the home is occupied even while you’re away on vacation.
  • Heating and air: Smart thermostats allow you to automate the temperature in your home and even control it from your phone. You can give the HVAC system a rest while you’re at work during the day, then turn it on remotely so the house is the perfect temperature when you arrive home.  
  • Multimedia: With voice activation, you can turn on your sound system, video call family, or start your favorite TV show by just stating orders out loud. Your house is at your command.
  • Home monitoring: Security cameras, noise detectors, and motion sensors can all be installed to help protect your home. Smart monitoring systems can send you a text alert if a potential problem is detected.

Smart systems have you covered!


2. Walk-In Showers


Not only do walk-in showers look sleek, but they are also a smart safety feature.

Many at-home falls happen while climbing out of slippery tub/showers. Walk-in showers dramatically reduce this risk by eliminating the need to climb over a wall every time you get in and out of the shower.


3. In-Wall Pest Control


If you’ll be opening up your walls, make a little extra investment in in-wall pest control.

In-wall pest control uses a network of small cables running through the walls to distribute pest control chemicals throughout the structure. Just spray the chemicals into the network entrance points regularly to maintain a pest-free home.  

  

4. Pull-Out Cabinets


Pull-out cabinets are a genius solution for homes with limited counter space. These cabinets tuck neatly under your existing counters, looking like standard cabinets. But when you need a bigger work surface, you can roll these cabinets out and use the finished tops to extend your counter space.

And these are ideal for more than just kitchens. You could also use pull-out cabinets in your home office, garage, and hobby room!


5. Clever Storage Spots


Traditional builds often leave some space wasted. Which is a shame because we all need more storage. Take a few notes from creative tiny-house builders who know how to maximize storage space:

  • Install pull-out drawers for shoe storage under the staircase where the space is too short to store much else.
  • Create a raised platform in the playroom so you can store lots of the toys in the space between the existing floor and the new platform floor.
  • Add baseboard drawers under kitchen cabinets to store thin items like baking trays, muffin tins, and cooling racks.

Don’t just settle for a more pleasing aesthetic with your next home renovation. Use these tips to improve the function of your home at the same time!


This post is intended for informational purposes only and should not be taken as professional advice. This post was written by Michelle Clardie. Michelle is a professional real estate blogger, specializing in ghostwriting Realtor® blogs. Her engaging content helps real estate agents become more visible online, generate more qualified leads, and increase their revenues. You can learn more at www.michelleclardie.com.


 
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If you’re a gardener, or at least want to be one, there’s no time as amazing as early spring. This is when your plants are starting to wake from their long winter’s sleep. The white snow and frost flowers are giving way to green grass and emerging vegetation that seems to multiply like magic day after day.

Although a lot of people sit back and wait for their plants to do whatever it is that they do in early spring, others, like you, are eager to help them be all they can be this year.

The Results of Minimum Plant Care

Many homeowners just let their plants come and go as they please. Usually, they’ve inherited the vegetation from the former owner and have little interest in gardening. It’s ok, it’s not for everyone. But, due to this minimal care for the plants, many varieties will start to die off from neglect. A slow death is still a death.

Obviously, you’re looking to do a bit more to help your plants get off to a good start. Because of this, your landscape will be healthier, live longer and produce more ornamental flowers than those of the neighbor who would have preferred a lot of grass and no plants to tend.

First Thing’s First, Reduce Your Plant’s Risk of Early Season Fungus

There are varieties of herbaceous perennials like bananas, cannas and elephant ear that can survive the winter in many climates if they’re tucked in under a layer of organic mulch that’s two to four inches deep. While mulch protects them from drying out or freezing to death when it’s cold, once these types of plants start to grow in the spring, that life-saving mulch can become a real enemy.

It’s vital that you pull back the mulch from your plants every few days to check for green growth above ground. Once you see it, hollow a moat out between the plant and the mulch. Make sure no mulch is touching the new growth and that the moat you’ve scooped is about two inches wide to allow for further safe development.

Several opportunistic fungi will take advantage of young, green growth that’s constantly touching something moist, like that mulch. There’s a fine line here, tread carefully.

Soil Testing and Amendment

If you have a garden plot and failed to fertilize it in the fall, now is the time to get to it. As soon as you can work the soil, take several samples and either use a home test kit to determine the condition of the soil or have them analyzed by your local university extension’s lab. The extension tests are generally around $10, but the cost varies by location.

Either way, you’ll have some kind of indication about the condition of your soil, as well as what you can do to fix any problems. For example, you may find that your soil is low in nitrogen, a vital nutrient for plants that grow a lot of leaves very quickly, like your lawn. In this case, you’ll follow the instructions for feeding the type of plant you intend to place in the tested area, using a precise amount of fertilizer, so as not to encourage long, spindly growth in those eager plants.

The same applies to other types of fertilizer, including balanced fertilizers like 10-10-10 and 15-15-15. Most established perennials are fine with fertilizer that’s mixed into the top two to five inches of soil, but always check before you get too wild with it. A few species may have unusual reactions, including but not limited to developing an overall burned or wilted look due to root destruction. Never apply more fertilizer than necessary due to the risk of runoff and pollution of waterways.

Turn the Sprinklers On!

Once the nighttime temperatures are consistently above freezing, you’re ready to turn the water back on. Your plants will appreciate the long, deep drink and you’ll be happy to not have to water each one by hand. Remember, when turning irrigation systems back on after being drained, do so slowly. Opening the valve too quickly can result in a high-pressure water surge that can rupture sprinkler heads or burst fittings.

Be prepared to turn the system back off if a surprise freeze creeps on, but waiting as long as possible to get the irrigation started again is also a fairly safe bet.

Check for Signs of Insect Infestation

As your plants start to bud, you’ll be able to tell if they’ve developed any problems during the winter. Generally, these are caused by insect infestations, but in ornamental and fruit trees, a whole range of fungal invasion is also likely.

Small holes in the trunks of trees and shrubs are likely caused by boring insects like clearwing moths, which spend most of their life cycles inside the plant. This makes them very hard to get rid of and often results in the hollowing of the interior of limbs and branches. Those hollow branches pose a major risk to anyone walking below, as they can reach a point where they are no longer structurally sound and suddenly break away from the tree.


Written By: HomeKeepr

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As the snow starts to melt, revealing the brightly colored flowers of crocus, and robins bop merrily around the yard, another cycle of the real estate market begins. If you’re considering listing your home this year, it’s definitely not too late to get started. March and April can be great months for putting your house in front of prospective buyers, but the summer months are also great times to sell.


Regardless of your timing, there are a few things you need to do right now to start getting ready to list. It’s not as simple as sticking a sign in the yard and waiting for the calls to roll in.

Putting Your Best Foot Forward

You never know who will feel that special feeling people get when they find the house that is just right for them. But you can turn the odds in your favor if you and your home are both show ready long before you open up to potential buyers.


Before you sell your house, you’re going to want to run through this checklist.


Hire a Realtor. There’s a reason that 91 percent of home sellers used a real estate agent to sell their home in 2017: selling a home is a complicated process that really demands an expert. Just like you’d not try to DIY surgery, there are serious financial risks involved with selling your home without an education in real estate law.


In addition to being your safety net, a Realtor can point out items that you might not realize are big turn-offs to buyers, like dated lighting, so you can get started on the cosmetic stuff to make your home show at its best.


Have a home inspection. Wait. Isn’t a home inspection just for buying a house? No! You can have a home inspector out any time you want. Having a full blown home inspection before you put your house on the market gives you a chance to correct items that will likely come up for your future buyer when they have their home inspector out. Get ahead of issues and you’ll sell that house faster.


Get to decluttering. If you have to sell your home in order to buy the next, you’re going to be living in a showroom for the next few months. Take anything you don’t really need immediately and put it in a storage unit. Get it away from your house because pushing clutter around doesn’t really help anything. Declutter as much as you can bear to — it’ll make your house look bigger and more appealing to prospective buyers

Paint the front door. Your Realtor will probably drive home the importance of curb appeal, or how enticing your house is from the street (the curb). The better the curb appeal, the more likely potential buyers will come inside and look around. The interesting thing about curb appeal is how certain elements of your house affect the whole picture. Case in point, Zillow’s 2018 Paint Color Analysis found that a black or charcoal colored front door can bring in as much as $6,271 extra!


Spruce up the landscaping. Along with dressing the front of your house up a bit, make sure that your landscaping is up to par. Prune any unruly plants, replace perennials that may have patchy growth, refresh your mulch, give the lawn a mow. Now that your landscape is radiating amazing curb appeal, keep it that way until your home closes. If you need to hire a landscaper, consider it an investment.

Get copies of your utility bills. People will ask what kind of utility costs are associated with your home. Does it just burn through the natural gas? Does the electricity use seem excessive? This is another place where you can get ahead of potential buyers by putting this information together and giving it to your Realtor on the day you sign your listing agreement.


Deep clean like you’ve never cleaned before. And hey, maybe you haven’t, we’re not here to judge. Even though painting is a quick fix to renewing your home’s interior, deep cleaning is less expensive and can result in a better overall effect. For example, if you clean your windows, inside and out until they’re super clean, you’ll immediately notice how much more natural light penetrates the room.

Is There Time For All of That?

If you find yourself crunched for time, don’t make up for it by skipping important things before listing. Instead, call on your HomeKeepr community to help you find the people who can move your home sale along. Whether you need a cleaner, a landscaper, an organization expert or even a home inspector, we’ve got you covered. Your agent already has a list of recommended service providers who can help, let these experts free up some of your time as you get ready to sell.


Written By: Homekeepr

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** Article and all content has been written by Winnipeg Realtors and not Kelly Fernandez **


February sales up 6%


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 marketgives 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.”
 
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 1,950 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.
 
The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by CREA and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA.
 
For further information, contact Peter Squire at (204) 786-8854. 


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** Article and all content has been written by Winnipeg Realtors and not Kelly Fernandez **


A 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.
 
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 is 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.”
 
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 1,950 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.
 
The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by CREA and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA.
 
For further information, contact Peter Squire at (204) 786-8854. 


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** Article and all content has been written by Winnipeg Realtors and not Kelly Fernandez **



Home values remain consistent in 2018


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.”
 
On February 6, WinnipegREALTORS® is proud to be hosting its Annual Forecast Breakfast. This high impact event provides more insights and details on what is happening in the local housing and commercial market with a look ahead to 2019.
 
Could a 2019 federal election set the stage for some much needed support for millennial buyers? Keynote speaker Benjamin Tal, deputy-chief economist of CIBC World Markets, is back by popular demand and will not disappoint
 
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 1,950 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.
 
 
The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by CREA and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA.


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** Article and all content has been written by Winnipeg Realtors and not Kelly Fernandez **


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.”


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.”
 
Since 1903, WinnipegREALTORS® has assisted its members in achieving high levels of excellence in organized real estate by providing superior tools and services that enhance and build a vibrant real estate industry. Representing over 1,900 REALTORS® and other industry related professions active in the Winnipeg metropolitan area, WinnipegREALTORS® promotes the value of a REALTOR® and organized real estate. WinnipegREALTORS® provides its members with essential market information, professional development sessions, networking opportunities, marketing products, an effective industry voice and strong leadership to further their professional success.
 
 
The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by CREA and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA.


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