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


September Sales Drop 12%
 
WINNIPEGSeptember sales of 1,046 were disappointing as they fell 12% in comparison to September 2017 and were off 9% from September’s 5-year average of 1,156 sales. On the other hand, new listings were up 6% and inventory of 5,134 listings grew by 11% over the same time last year.
 
Year-to-date sales activity shows sales of 10,264 are down 7% over the same period in 2017 while dollar volume has decreased 5% to $3.0 billion. Listings entered on the MLS® at the end of September are 19,771, up less than 2% from 2017.
 
If you look back before 2016 and 2017, the best years ever on record where sales after nine months were right around 11,000, year-to-date sales are very much in line with 2015 and 2014 and much closer to 2013 in total sales. 
 
“Winnipeg’s resilient market is being tested this year in light of newly tightened federal mortgage regulations and it is preventing a number of prospective buyers from entering our market,” said Chris Dudeck, president of WinnipegREALTORS®. He added, “ The lack of new entrants to a housing market compounds matters further as the cascade effect of more sales occurring further up the real estate ladder is muted due to sellers unable to move on with their plans to buy a home if theirs does not sell.”
 
We also need to keep things in perspective how Winnipeg and the outlying metropolitan region housing market is performing relative to many other housing markets across the country. At a Canadian Real Estate Association national conference held this month, delegates were told 50 local markets are down more than 10% and 75 out of 101 markets are experiencing declining sales activity in comparison to year-to-date sales in 2017.
 
“As always, both buyers and sellers need to consult with their REALTOR to develop a strategy to navigate our current market conditions,” said Dudeck.
 
In September there were 5 million dollar plus single family home sales with one selling for $2 million. The lowest sales price was $44,500. For condominiums, one unit sold for close to $1 million at $964, 950 while the lowest one went for $66,500.
 
The average days to sell a residential-detached or single family home was 32 days while for condominiums it was a week longer at 39 days.
 
A real positive for the Manitoba economy going into the last three months of the year is the recently signed United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement. It should bring more certainty and economic stability to what was concerning for many Manitoba businesses which rely on exporting their goods and products south of the border.
 
One of the most important components you need to take into account when selling a home is strategy”, said Marina R. James, CEO of WinnipegREALTORS®. “Your REALTOR® knows strategy and will help you navigate through complex issues from start to finish.” 
 
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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