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News and Updates

Solid December closes out a successful year of MLS® sales activity

Reused by permission of the Real Estate News










WINNIPEG – A solid result in December of 635 MLS® unit sales and a dollar volume over $179 million capped off a successful year in 2017.

Actual percentage differences in comparison to December 2016 were relatively modest but positive with sales up 3%, dollar volume rising 7% and listings increasing 8%. All MLS® property types performed exceptionally well in December with only residential-detached experiencing a drop of 8% in sales. A total MLS® inventory of 2,851 listings is available for sale as 2018 begins.

2017 finished up strong with a total of 13,525 sales, down less than 1% from the record year of 2016 where 13,632 sales were transacted. A new annual dollar volume record was set in 2017 with $3.92 billion worth of MLS® sales – an increase of close to 4% in comparison to 2016.

When asked for his insight on 2017, outgoing WinnipegREALTORS® president Blair Sonnichsen said, “Considering tougher mortgage qualification requirements were in effect for insured mortgages, two Bank of Canada interest rate increases were brought in, and impact fees were imposed by the City of Winnipeg on new residential development, we are particularly pleased with our MLS® market performance. This indicates to me our REALTORS® worked diligently with mortgage brokers and financial institutions to overcome any challenges clients may have encountered in this regard. REALTORS® as a result were able to conclude nearly as many sales as they did in our record year of 2016.”

A byproduct of 2017 which has been noted before, is the many affordable options available to buyers in the WinnipegREALTORS® market region. It became very apparent early on in 2017 that buyers were making adjustments within certain property type categories or between them to attain their dream of acquiring a place to call home.

“Within the many neighbourhoods of Winnipeg or the outlying rural municipalities in the capital region, buyers made informed choices and took advantage of one of the most affordable residential real estate markets in the country, “said Sonnichsen.

2017 was a year where stronger move up market activity helped offset some drop off in the first-time buyer price ranges for single family homes. One clear example of higher end sales gaining ground over 2016 was the fact there were 45 million dollar plus homes sold in comparison to 30 in 2016. Even condominiums saw a spike in million dollar plus sales with 6 compared to none in 2016.

More move up sales activity in 2017 was a contributing factor in lifting the annual average sale price upward for both residential-detached and condominium property types. The residential-detached average sale price went from $302,726 in 2016 to $315,720 in 2017. The condominium average sale price rose over $9,000 to $244,687 in 2017.

Residential-detached average sale prices for the MLS® zones of Winnipeg and rural municipalities outside the city show price gains over 2016 with only Winnipeg North decreasing slightly.

The southwest zone eclipsed an average sale price of $400,000 in 2017 for the first time. When you have over 300 sales in one MLS® area (Waverley West) in this zone having an average sale price of $546,664 you know it will skew the entire zone’s average sale price higher. This MLS® zone also includes Tuxedo which had an average sale price of $853,378.

Speaking of residential-detached sales in 2017, despite the sales gains noted in higher price ranges, over half of all sales still occur under $300,000 with the busiest price range from $250,000 to $299,999 commanding a total market share of 21%. It is worth noting the $300,000 to $349,999 price range for the first time in 2017 supplanted the $200,000 to $249,999 price range as the second most active price range. The average days on market to sell a home in 2017 was 29 days, 2 days quicker than 2016.

The highest sale price for homes was $2,460,000 with the lowest selling for only $10,000.

The most active price range for condominium sales in 2017 was from $150,000 to $199,999 at 28% of total sales. Another 35% of condo sales occurred fairly evenly in the next two higher price ranges from $200,000 to $249,999 and $250,000 to $299,999. The average days on market to sell a condo in 2017 was 43 days, 4 days quicker than 2016.

The highest sale price for condominiums was $1,575,000 while the lowest was $42,000.

Some other property types did not take a backseat to residential-detached and condominiums in 2017. In fact they outperformed them in terms of sales increases over 2016.

Single-attached properties had a double-digit increase of 12% to finish at 537 sales and a 4% market share. Town houses showed the largest sales increase of them all at 19% while commercial jumped 8%. Residential-detached sales were actually down 2% from 2016 and condominiums which started off the year with high monthly percentage gains over 2016 finished up with an increase under 3%. Condominium sales were only 9 sales short of the annual record set in 2014 when 1,798 sales were transacted on WinnipegREALTORS®’ MLS®.

“What these different property type outcomes illustrate is how important it is to consult with a REALTOR® – your local market expert – on what is happening with respect to your specific property type and how you need to navigate the market to get the best results,” said Marina R. James, CEO of WinnipegREALTORS®.

WinnipegREALTORS® will get into more detail with analysis and explanation of what happened in 2017 when it hosts its 12th Annual Forecast breakfast on February 7, 2018. It will also look ahead to what it expects to happen in 2018 with new federal mortgage lending guidelines, the potential of more Bank of Canada interest rate increases and municipal elections.

“One real strength of our local market is its stability,” said Sonnichsen. “As we embark on a new year I believe Manitoba’s resilient and diversified economy will once again help us meet the headwinds which may pose a challenge to us in 2018.”












Home security tips while you’re away on a winter vacation

Reused by permission of the Real Estate News

Going away for a winter vacation is more fun when you can relax knowing your home is safe!

Here are some home security tips and suggestions to help give you peace of mind while you are away.

To protect your home, consider both security against break-ins and preventing any internal or external damage.

Don’t signal that you are not home whether it’s for a weekend or a few months, during the winter it’s easy to tell when someone is not home:

• Shorter days means unlit windows are obvious as early as 4 p.m.

• Frequent snowfalls leave a snow buildup and a lack of tire tracks in your driveway.

• Trash not taken out to the curb on garbage day shows you are not home.

• Unopened accumulated mail and flyers is also a telltale sign.

The first thing you may wish to do is take precautions for the security of your home. Make your home look lived in and also secure your entryways and valuables:

• Prevent burglary by making your home looked lived in.

• Set your lights on a timer so they turn on when it gets dark.

• Arrange for snow removal and salt your walkways.

• Arrange for mail pick-up or forwarding.

• Ensure that your house and belongings are secure.

• Disable your garage door to prevent a break-in.

• Use deadbolt locks on your external doors and windows and sliding locks on glass doors or French doors.

• Gather your valuables and store them at another location or in a safe.

• Advise your local police station that your home will be unoccupied and perhaps a patrol car may be able to swing by during occasional shifts.

• Don’t post on social media about leaving for vacation.

• Prevent appliance malfunctions and damage.

The next main concern for leaving your home during the winter is the risk of any damage occurring. From weather to malfunctioning appliances, you may want to consider a number of areas to keep your home safe:

• Get your furnace checked for routine maintenance. You want to ensure your home temperature will be stable in your absence.

• Have an electrician inspect your main electrical panel and general wiring to prevent risk of any outages.

• Keep your room doors and cabinet doors open to let warm air circulate where pipes are located.

• Prevent flooding: shut off the water to washing machines and dishwashers, drain and shut off outdoor water faucets.

• Prevent rodents and pests: clean your oven, get rid of any perishable or uneaten food, and close your fireplace flue.

Last but not least, for your peace of mind, consider asking a trusted friend or neighbour to check in on your place when you are gone. They can look for signs of burglary, burst pipes, or any damage. A trusted visitor can also make your house look lived in, keeping your snow cleared and collecting your mail.

— SmartMoves, Canada Post.


Manitoba Real Estate Association (MREA) Shelter Foundation

Reused by permission of the Real Estate News

Every year, REALTORS® step up to raise money in support of the Manitoba Real Estate Association (MREA) Shelter Foundation, which, in turn, selects and delivers donation cheques to worthy recipients in Manitoba. The MREA Shelter Foundation is funded, owned and managed entirely by Manitoba Realtors since its formation in 2007. Its entire focus and mission is to support shelter-related charities across Manitoba.

As a professional association, MREA has the social responsibility to ensure the communities it serves continue to thrive. As part of its commitment to build and promote a trusted real estate profession, Realtor volunteers carried out extensive community work.

One of the biggest and highest profile fundraisers, during which Realtors and many sponsor companies come together, is the annual Gimme Shelter event sponsored by WinnipegREALTORS® in the spring. This year’s organizing committee is busy planning for the spring of 2018 event with details to be shortly released.

To date, Gimme Shelter has raised over $320,000, with over $39,000 raised in 2017. All proceeds from this event go towards the shelter foundation.

Besides the major Gimme Shelter fundraiser, the 2017 Brian M. Collie Memorial Shelter Classic at the Glendale Golf and Country Club raised $15,300. The Win a Wine Cellar event raised another $500 for the foundation.

A new initiative MREA launched this fall is the Care-a-Van charity drive with Realtors brokerages collecting much needed items for Manitoba shelter organizations. For a first-time event, Realtor volunteers were overwhelmed with the overall participation and interest.

The MREA Shelter Foundation granted funding to12 organizations, totalling $57,127. Habitat for Humanity, Siloam Mission, Esther House and the Main Street Project are just a few of the organizations that received grants from the foundation this year.

The foundation’s support staff and volunteers had the privilege of delivering cheques and touring nine of the 12 organizations to learn more about how the donations help Manitobans. From women and children in crisis, people living with disabilities, to the homeless population and those who are recovering from addictions, there is no limit to the number of people who need shelter.

“The MREA Shelter Foundation has given me a chance to learn more about the many shelter organizations we support,” said Joseph Taruc, a Realtor and the incoming 2018 MREA Shelter Foundation board governor, who toured a number of the facilities benefitting from foundation donations.

“I was really impressed by Siloam Mission’s facilities — the new cafeteria where they are now able to serve hundreds without a waiting line in our -40°C winters, much-needed medical care facilities, haircutting services, clean beds and clothing closets to support our homeless community.

“L’Arche Winnipeg operates the L’Arche Tova Cafe in Transcona to provide employment for people with disabilities in a friendly and social environment. I think this organization is much needed in Winnipeg. I’m glad I was able to visit the café to learn more about the organization and enjoy their delicious food.

“All in all, this was a very humbling and enlightening experience,” he added. “Running into someone I knew personally at one of the shelter organizations made me realize that there are many hidden issues that people are experiencing and need support. I am proud that the MREA Shelter Foundation strives to help those who need it most.”

One of the 12 recipients worth highlighting this year is Ndinawemaaganag Endaawaad. It is an Indigenous organization, located in the North End of Winnipeg, which provides a continuum of integrated programs and services to youth 11 to 24 years of age, who may experience feelings of detachment from their family, school or community.

The shelter foundation provided a grant this year of $7,000 to help the group repair their youth resource centre and purchase a much-needed commercial dishwasher, which is necessary for a heavily-utilized kitchen that feeds an average of 50 youth a day.


Stay warm and safe this winter






Space heaters are not a permanent solution for heating your home, but sometimes they are nice to use to add some warmth and comfort on cold winter days. Here are some tips to stay safe and avoid potential shock or fire:

  • Make sure the space heater is suitable for where you intend to use it.
  • Place the space heater where it won’t be near any flammable materials.
  • Check for a model with a tip-over switch that turns off the heater if it is knocked over.
  • NEVER USE AN EXTENSION CORD. Always plug your space heater directly into an outlet.
  • Never leave children unsupervised in rooms where a space heater is running.

For more safety information check our the December 2017 issue of Energy Matters from Manitoba Hydro


A repeat performance in November MLS® Sales Activity

Reused by permission of the Real Estate News

Read the full press release here:

Winnipeg – If you are going to duplicate a month’s sales activity, do it when it is a good one and that was the case in November.  MLS®sales of 878 units in November were one sale higher than November 2016 and 4% above the 10-year average for this month. Only once in 2015 did November sales edge over 900, so not a big difference in sales.

A solid performance in November and year-to-date sales of 12,890 ensures 2017 will be no worse than second highest on record. 2016 was the best year ever with over 13,600 sales.

Balanced market conditions still prevail overall with over 4 months of listings available if there were no new listings added on to the MLS® system.

MLS® area neighbourhoods such as Riverview, Crescentwood, River Heights, Wolseley, Southdale, Fort Garry, Linden Woods, Garden Grove and Harbourview South show depleted inventories in relation to residential-detached sales this year.

“Depending on the property type and area of the city or capital region you wish to live in, you need to be calling a REALTOR® to provide their knowledge and expertise on what your best course of action is based on current market conditions, especially due to financing,” said Marina R. James, CEO of WinnipegREALTORS®. “All real estate markets are local and vary within according to different market indicators.”

Commencing January 1, 2018, a new stress test comes into effect on Canadians making down payments of over 20 per cent and therefore not requiring mortgage insurance.  It applies to all federally regulated financial institutions and requires the applicant to qualify for mortgage payments based on the greater of either the Bank of Canada’s five-year benchmark rate or their contract mortgage rate plus two percentage points.

Backing up WinnipegREALTORS® claim that it has one of the most affordable major real estate markets in the country is the percentage of sales it has under $300,000.  In November 59% of residential-detached sales and 77% of condo sales were under $300,000. The busiest condominium price range at 26% of total sales was from $150,000 to $199,999.


Carpet Stains

Is there anything more frustrating than a hard-to-remove stain on your carpet? When it comes to keeping your floors clean, sometimes accidents happen. Before you despair, try these easy cleaning tips to repair any stain. For the top culprits of carpet chaos – kool-aid, pet stains, coffee, blood, and ink – use these solutions to help!

Don’t wait – treat the stain immediately

No matter what, the sooner you treat a stain, the more success you will have. A fresh stain will lift more easily. Start off with a dry towel and gently pat the stain, letting the towel soak up as much of the stain as possible.

Do this until the carpet is almost dry – but be careful not to rub. You don’t want to push stains further into the carpet fibres or into the carpet pad.

Gently clean your carpet

If you are not sure how to proceed, always use cold water. Sometimes hot water can cause your carpet to absorb the stain more deeply.

If your stain has dried before you can get to it, moisten it with cold water before you start to clean it. Here are a few different stain-removing solutions you can use:

  • Spray a mix of ¼ cup white vinegar, 1 tablespoon dish soap, and 1 cup water on the stain. Let it soak for 5-10 minutes, then get a clean towel to blot again. Repeat until the stain is gone.
  • Spray a mix of 4 cups (or approximately 1 litre) of water with stain removing clothes detergent – soak, blot and repeat.
  • Got an ink stain? Treat it like a paint stain – use a cloth soaked in isopropyl alcohol (sometimes called rubbing alcohol) and dab it gently on the stain. Be careful with other alcohol solvents like nail polish remover or paint thinner. Always test a small hidden area on your carpet to make sure you don’t bleach the colour.

Got a stinky stain?

For stains that smell unpleasant, after cleaning them you can mix ¼ cup of white vinegar with ½ cup of water. Spray on the stain and let it soak, then blot it with a clean towel till dry. This should fight even the tough odour of pet stains.

Some store-bought options…

If you want to leave the stain-removal to the experts, you can rent a heavy duty steam cleaner for carpets from your local hardware store. Commercial solutions from Bissell and even Oxyclean can be very effective as well.

When in doubt – call the experts! Look up your local cleaning service and give them a call, they may be able to come remove the stain for you or give you tips on how to proceed.

Smartmoves from Canada Post


Is Your Sump Pump Hose in the Right Place?

If water in the sump pump hose freezes, your sump pump can overheat and burn out. There are two ways of preventing this. Try them out to see which works for your property.

In the fall, once the weather drops below freezing, disconnect the flexible sump pump hose outside.

  1. If you don’t already have one, attach a 90 degree elbow to the discharge outlet, and place a splash pad under the discharge outlet, or
  2. Fasten a larger size flexible, perforated drain hose or pipe (4″ or 6″ diameter) of suitable length to the discharge outlet (e.g., a piece of weeping tile pipe)Remember! In spring, reattach the hose you normally use or leave the winter one in place if it drains the water properly in spring and summer.