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Page 2 of 10

A slow start to the first quarter

http://www.winnipegrealtors.ca/Resources/PressRelease?fileID=493

Reused by permission of the Real Estate News

WININIPEG – Sales in March resulted in a slower first quarter especially in comparison to the two best years on record in 2016 and 2017.  Sales of 2,228 are down over 8% from the first 3 months in 2017, and 4% over the 10-year average.  March sales of 974 decreased 12% from March 2017, and 5% over the 10-year average. March new listings at just under 2,100 were down to a lesser extent at 5%.

Current inventory of MLS® listings going into the second quarter is almost identical to last year. It sits around 3,900 listings with a modest percentage gain of residential-detached listings available while condominium listings slipped slightly.

It is fair to say while market fundamentals are firmly in place in the local market, new mortgage rules combined with higher mortgage rates in the last year have made it more difficult for some buyers to purchase their desired property. This not only applies to first-time buyers, but to existing home owners who instead of listing their property have decided to stay put as the tougher qualifying environment keeps them from moving ahead with a new purchase.

As in other real estate markets across the country, strong year-end sales within the Winnipeg Metropolitan Region in November and December in advance of the January 1, 2018 new stress test on uninsured mortgages would have had a pull-forward effect on sales happening this first quarter.

Of course you can never discount mother- nature either as March has been unseasonably cold and did nothing to motivate buyers to kick start the spring market.

“The second quarter is by far the busiest quarter of the year and it will truly tell the story if the slow first quarter start is just that,” said Chris Dudeck, president of WinnipegREALTORS®.  “We need to see if April regains some of the market momentum lost in the first quarter.”

Further analysis of both residential-detached and condominium properties provide a few observations.

While condominiums saw sales drop 14% in the first quarter, they are only 1% below the 10-year average.  The average sales price of $240,740 was less than 2% below the more active first quarter of 2017.

Residential-detached, the most expensive property type class and one most vulnerable to recent policy-related moves to slow down the housing market, experienced an 11% decline over  the 2017 first quarter, and a 7% drop off in same period sales over the 10-year average.  The average sales price was higher however at $327,959 compared to $319,549, up nearly 3%, and the average days to sell was 29 versus 27 in 2017.

It is also worth noting the ratio of total sales price, to total list price, edged up to 99% in the month of March.  This high percentage ratio can be attributed in part to a number of MLS® areas seeing whatever listings they had available sell quickly.

“ The majority of MLS® areas which experienced the biggest decrease in residential-detached sales compared to last year were in the more affordable price ranges and often had a corresponding drop off in available listings,” said Dudeck.

This same pattern was less apparent with condominiums which had more of an issue with less listings being sold compared to last year.

“As this first quarter demonstrates, changes occur within property types, price ranges and areas throughout the market region, “said Marina James, CEO of WinnipegREALTORS®.  You need to be calling a REALTOR® to advise you on your best course of action.”

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Is there radon in your home?

Radon is a naturally occurring, radioactive gas, formed by the breakdown of uranium present in all soil and rock.

Some radon may be present in almost all homes, but the amount of radon depends on several factors: soil characteristics, type of construction, foundation condition, pressure difference between house and the soil, and weather.

Because of the many factors contributing the radon amounts, the way to know the amount in your home is to test by purchasing a kit or hiring and professional.

For more information on radon, click on the resources below:

https://www.crea.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/A_Homeowners_Guide_to_Radon_CREA.pdf

https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/environmental-workplace-health/radiation/radon.html

http://www.cancer.ca/en/prevention-and-screening/reduce-cancer-risk/get-involved-mb/radon-in-manitoba/?region=mb

 

 

 

 

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February sales down 11%

http://www.winnipegrealtors.ca/Resources/PressRelease?fileID=492

Reused by permission of the Real Estate News

WINNIPEG – It was an off month for WinnipegREALTORS® as February sales of 683 declined 11% from the same month last year and 10% over the 10-year average for February.  Year-to-date sales of 1,250 are 5% off the pace set in 2017 when there were 1,327 sales. Year-to-date dollar volume worth $352 million in real estate transactions is also down 5% from the same period last year.

When comparing MLS® listings to last year, overall supply is not the issue as the inventory at the end of February of just under 3,400 is equivalent to 2017.  New listings coming on the market for residential-detached and condominium properties in February were not markedly different either from February 2017.

Simply put, buyers were less active than last year.  Sales fell short in the two main property types – residential-detached and condominiums. While condominium sales decreased 16%, the 102 sales transacted are above the 10-year average by 8%. Residential-detached sales, on the other hand, were below the 10-year average by 10% and 11% in comparison to February 2017.

There is no one reason why residential-detached sales saw a drop off in activity.  One MLS® area in particular was down markedly from 2017 because of a lack of listings, where other MLS® areas experienced a noticeable drop off in sales compared to available listings.

As for the distribution of sales throughout the entire residential-detached price range spectrum, the tilt in percentage of sales activity favoured the higher price ranges above $300,000. This was even more accentuated for condominium sales activity in higher price ranges.  The usually dominant $150,000 to $199,999 price range dropped in total sales percentage from 36% in 2017 to 19% this year.

“A disappointing sales result but still too early in year to draw any firm conclusions,” said WinnipegREALTORS® president Chris Dudeck. “Based on an increase in higher end price range sales activity in relation to lower price ranges compared to last February the new stress test on insured mortgages (came into effect on January 1, 2018)  does not appear to be a leading cause of slower sales activity.”

It is also worth noting, residential-detached properties which did sell in February, actually sold faster in 2018 than 2017. The average days to sell was 32 days, 2 days quicker than February 2017, while average days to sell a condo was the same as February 2017 at 45 days.

One thing that is clear, with tougher qualifying requirements for both insured and uninsured mortgages this year, and higher mortgage rates, buyers should be proactive in getting pre-approvals so that when they are ready to purchase a home they are qualified to buy.

This week the Bank of Canada held its benchmark interest rate at 1.25 per cent, though one more hike is expected this year. Lingering trade issues including concerns over NAFTA may well push back another rate hike until later in 2018. The Bank of Canada is also assessing the housing market as part of their rate-tightening plan given softer sales activity this year.

“All markets are local and activity within the various property types behaves differently depending on the price range and area,” said Marina R. James, CEO of WinnipegREALTORS®.  “You are always best advised to contact a professional REALTOR® to determine a suitable course of action for your own needs.”

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Spring Parade of Homes starts Saturday, March 3, 2018

http://www.winnipegrealtors.ca/Resources/Article/?sysid=3258

Reused by permission of the Real Estate News

By Lanny McInnes

Spring has arrived! The Manitoba Home Builders’ Association’s 2018 Spring Parade of Homes starts on March 3 at 12 noon!

The best of Manitoba’s home building market will once again be on display as the Spring Parade of Homes officially opens March 3 and runs through until Sunday, March 25. This year’s Spring Parade will showcase 138 new show homes built by Manitoba’s best home builders. Once again, the MHBA is proud to present Manitobans with the biggest and best Parade of Homes in Canada.

Show home hours are:

Saturday and Sunday from 12 noon to 6:00 p.m.

Monday through Thursday from 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Show homes are closed on Fridays except by prior appointment.

During the Parade hours, each Parade show home will have staff that are ready to explain all of the unique and special features of that home. Be sure to ask them about the builders, suppliers and materials used in building the home during your visit. MHBA new home builders pride themselves on building the best new homes in Canada.

Over 135 homes from single family detached homes to condominiums and townhouses are on display during this year’s Spring Parade. Thirty-eight different home builders will be presenting their new homes in 42 different communities in and around Winnipeg and in Brandon.

Quality, choice, and affordability are all key components to each Parade show home. There is no better chance to see the best in today’s new housing market.

This year’s Spring Parade of Homes truly has something for everyone. If you’re looking at building a new home, this is the best opportunity to see the widest variety of new home options —floor plans, designs, materials — as well as visit Manitoba’s newest developments and communities to see what options are right for you.

And if you’re thinking of making some changes to your existing home, the latest designs and styles are all on display, providing you with some great ideas to incorporate into your home.

Be sure to follow the MHBA on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook as we will be featuring each of the 138 show homes entered in this year’s Spring Parade. The MHBA will also have fun contests throughout the Parade for visitors posting pictures of their favorite show homes using the hashtag #PARADEOFHOMESMB.

The MHBA has also revamped the Parade of Homes page at www.homebuilders.mb.ca. You can now utilize an interactive map that lets you search and locate all of the Parade show homes. Be sure to visit the new Parade of Homes page to help in your parade planning.

The MHBA Builders look forward to welcoming you to their Parade show homes!

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Goodbye rent . . . hello home ownership

http://www.winnipegrealtors.ca/Resources/Article/?sysid=3253

Reused by permission of the Real Estate News

By Geoff Kirbyson

Renting is a great option for students and young couples but eventually it’s time to move up to the big leagues and own a house or condominium.

Sure, it’s nice to have the relatively worry-free lifestyle when you live in an apartment building or a floo­r of a house and aren’t tied down long term to any property or even city. You can pay your rent and phone bill every month while leaving the pesky property taxes and utilities to your landlord. But your older (and wiser) self will thank you the earlier you can get into home ownership, said Blair Sonnichsen, Realtor and past president of WinnipegREALTORS.

“When I make my mortgage payment every month, my equity position improves. When I rent, the money I pay goes towards paying somebody else’s equity position. While I’m free from most maintenance responsibilities and risks as a tenant, when I leave, I leave behind all that I’ve paid,” he said.

Equity, of course, is the difference between what a property is worth and what you owe on it.

Building up equity in your home can help you in several non-housing ways, too. If you want to borrow money from your bank or credit union for whatever reason — home improvements, a new vehicle, a cottage or investments — equity provides the necessary leverage to qualify you for that money.

Perhaps the biggest transition for home buyers is adjusting their lifestyles and possessions to their new space. For example, the bedroom suite that they bought for their spacious apartment likely won’t fit in the more cramped confines of their starter home or the big-screen TV that looked great on their apartment wall might completely overwhelm their living room.

There’s also a big adjustment to make financially. If your monthly budget is $1,400, you’ll quickly find what you pay in rent doesn’t go nearly as far in a house. Home insurance, property taxes and utilities will whittle down your buying power. The general financing rule is for every $6 you have in annual income, you can get $1,000 in mortgage.

So, let’s say your fixed expenses are $500 per month. The remaining $850 could help you get a mortgage of about $140,000. When you factor in a downpayment of 10 per cent, you’re looking at a house worth a little north of $150,000. A couple of decades ago, that would have been quite the place but many would-be homeowners are in for a rude awakening in 2018.

“Young adults today like to step out of their parents’ home into their first home of an equal quality of life. For most people, that’s not possible. That’s a big adjustment,” he said.

While landlords are usually looking for tenants to move in as quickly as possible, that’s often not the case with home sales and renters need to be prepared for that, Sonnichsen said.

“I’ve had clients say to me, ‘we’re getting married in July and want to move into our new home in September. Should we start looking now?’ The answer is ‘no,’ because (sales) are closing in 60 to 90 days,” he said.

Once you decide to make the transition, you’re probably going to want the advice of a Realtor to choose the home that will best meet your needs and expectations. But there’s more to it than looking in the Yellow Pages (ask your parents) or going online. Sonnichsen recommends visiting a few open houses, not necessarily to check out the kitchens and bathrooms — although you can do that, too — but to meet the Realtors putting them on.

“You’ll see the Realtor that sits on the couch and doesn’t acknowledge the people in the room and you’ll have the Realtor who has snacks and treats, is prepared and talks to the visitors. I encourage homebuyers to interview their agent. An easy place to find a Realtor is a public open house,” he said.

A Realtor can provide all the information you’ll need to make the right decision about making the move from rent to building your home equity. They’ll have the expertise you need and help you with managing your options.

geoffkirbyson@mymts.net

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January sales of 571 mirror last January’s total sales activity

http://www.winnipegrealtors.ca/Resources/PressRelease?fileID=491

Reused by permission of the Real Estate News

WINNIPEG –  It is often said that Winnipeg’s real estate market is steady and stable. January exemplified this description by delivering a repeat performance from January 2017. It was uncannily similar in total MLS® sales, active and current listings, and dollar volume.

MLS® sales of 571 and dollar volume of $156 million are both up less than 2% over January 2017. The inventory of 3,096 listings is almost identical to 2017 and current listings entered onto MLS® in January were just under 1,500 in comparison to 1,502 last year.

“Too early to tell how much impact the new stress test effective January 1, 2018 on uninsured mortgages will have on the local market,” said Chris Dudeck, president of WinnipegREALTORS®. “And we should not forget that the stress test on insured mortgages in late 2016 will still be a factor in 2018.”

When you look closely at the MLS® property types a few differences emerge. The inclement weather may in fact have something to do with slower rural sales activity in residential-detached sales as they were down 12% in comparison to January 2017. Condominiums which had a strong start in 2017 were not quite as robust this year, though in line with the 5-year average of 90 sales.

Other property types made up for slower residential-detached and condo sales with some significant double-digit increases over January 2017. Of note were duplex sales increasing 44%, single-attached sales up 35%, and vacant land transactions rising 53%.

“This is the first full calendar year where City of Winnipeg impact fees apply so it will be interesting to watch and compare if vacant land sales continue to increase as the majority of WinnipegREALTORS® vacant land inventory is outside the city of Winnipeg in the rural municipalities,” said Dudeck. ““He added only 3 of the 26 vacant land sales were in Winnipeg.”

“REALTORS® know market conditions as they see what is transpiring every day in the market” said Marina R. James, CEO of WinnipegREALTORS®. “You need to be contacting a REALTOR®. They can assist your own individual needs based on the property type you own or may be interested in buying.”

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