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SELLING your home in winter

Selling your home in the winter months does come with some unique challenges, but people buy and sell homes all year long!

Here are some tips to getting over the potential hurdles of selling your home in winter:

  • Shovel the snow for a great first impression – Make sure walkways, driveways and other areas where buyers may want to venture to view your home’s exterior are clear of snow. Also watch out for ice and sprinkle sand or another product of your choosing to avoids falls and injuries. Not able to remove the snow yourself? Ask your Realtor to connect you with a snow removal service.
  • Dispel the winter gloom with light! Let the light into your home by opening up all shutters or blinds. With the shorter days in winter, make sure the lights are on in your home to brighten things up. If you’re not available, arrange for a trusted neighbor, family member or friend to turn on the lights for showings.
  • Make potential buyers comfortable in your home by setting the thermostat. On a cold day especially, this will make them want to stay a little longer inside your home. Don’t make it feel like the tropics, but keeping your home between 20-25 degrees Celsius for showings is a good idea.
  • Make your home smell welcoming. It’s best to avoid synthetic sprays and plug-in air fresheners and opt for more natural options.
    • An hour before a showing or Open House, but some water to boil with a few cloves and cinnamon sticks and let it simmer.
    • Sprinkle baking soda before vacuuming.
    • Grind some citrus peel and ice cubes in the garburator.
    • Do some baking. Nothing is more inviting that the smell of fresh cookies or bread.
  • Make sure your home is clean. It’s also a good idea to depersonalize your home by removed family photos so that potential buyers can visualize themselves living there.
  • Demonstrate your home’s value. Make sure potential buyers know how your home is prepared for winter by providing utility bills and information any energy saving mechanicals and appliances. Also provide information about the windows, insulation, and don’t forget the winter fun. If your home is near winter recreation areas or facilities, include this information in your listing.
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WinnipegREALTORS(R) MLS(R) Market Release for October 2015

home sales RD Sales Pie Chart October 2015

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PRESS RELEASE

November 5, 2015

For Immediate Release

MLS® YEAR –TO – DATE SALES ON PAR WITH 2014

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October MLS® Sales Down Less Than 3%

WINNIPEG – With two months to go, it is too close to call whether this year’s sales activity can eke out a victory over 2015. The lead has changed a few times when comparing sales activity between 2015 and 2014. At present, 2014 regains the lead with a total of 11,391 versus 11,382 sales this year. Last year was WinnipegREALTORS® fifth highest sales year recorded at over 12,800 sales. It was a good year and only less than 2% off the best year in 2007.

On the other hand, MLS® dollar volume continues to set new records every year even if sales fall short of previous years.  2015 is no different.  Its $3.1 billion in MLS® sales transactions activity is up 2% over 2014. Listings entered on the MLS® for the first 10 months are 22,400, an 8% increase over 2014.

October MLS® sales of 1,084 represent a decrease of less than 3% from October 2014 while dollar volume of $283 million dropped a similar percentage to last October. New listings of over 1,800 in October were slightly more than what came on the market in October 2014.

“When you see some of the mixed sales results across the country such as Calgary’s sales being well off last year’s activity, I am pleased to say Winnipeg is holding its own,” said David MacKenzie, president of WinnipegREALTORS®.  “We should appreciate our economic fundamentals remain solid and this should give us reason to see us finish off well this year and feel confident going into 2016. Both Manitoba’s employment and population have increased in the first nine months.”

In CMHC’s most recent Fall 2015 Housing Market Outlook for Winnipeg and its surrounding rural municipalities, it indicates:

“Elevated levels of net migration will continue to have a positive impact on housing demand as new immigrants make their way into homeownership.  Adding to demand is a turnaround in employment in 2015 after the losses experienced in 2014. Gains in full time jobs, particularly among workers aged 25 to 44 who tend to be first time buyers and favour housing at the lower price points, will support resale growth.”

One area WinnipegREALTORS® will need to keep monitoring is the higher than usual supply of listings as it moves into slower months of sales activity.  Heading into November there are over 2,700 residential-detached properties and around 800 condominiums available for sale. In the second quarter where more brisk sales activity occurs, residential-detached active listings were as high as 3,301 while condominiums peaked at 983.

“Buyers are in an enviable position to take advantage of plentiful choice of listings in all of our MLS® property types,” said MacKenzie. “You need to be talking to a REALTOR® – the MLS® market expert – on what will best fit your needs according to your particular preferences and qualifications to meet financial obligations for the property you desire.”

A sign of a far more balanced market with healthy competition for buyers is only 6% of all residential-detached or single family homes sold at list price in October while 82% went for below and 12% went for above list price.  Nevertheless, the total residential-detached sales dollar volume in October represented 97% of the total dollar volume worth of listings sold.

The most active price range in October for residential-detached sales was $250,000-$299,999 (21% of sales), followed by the $200,000-$249.999 (20%) and $150,000-$199,999 (13%).  Average days on market for residential-detached sales was 35 days, 1 day faster than October 2014. The highest-priced residential-detached sale was $1,125,000. The least expensive sale was $18,000.

The busiest condo price ranges were the $250,000-$299,999 (22% of sales) and the $150,000-$199,999 (22% of sales), followed by the $200,000-$249,999 (19%). Average days on market for condominium sales was 47 days, a week off pace set in October 2014. The highest-priced condo sale was $599,900 and the lowest-priced sale was $88,000.

Established in 1903, WinnipegREALTORS® is a professional association representing over 1,880 real estate brokers, salespeople, appraisers, and financial members active in the Greater Winnipeg Area real estate market.  Its REALTOR® members adhere to a strict code of ethics and share a state-of-the-art Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) designed exclusively for REALTORS®. WinnipegREALTORS® serves its members by promoting the benefits of an organized real estate profession.  REALTOR®, MLS® and Multiple Listing Service® are trademarks owned and controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association and are used under licence.

For further information, contact Peter Squire at (204) 786-8854.

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WinnipegREALTORS® MLS® Market Release for September 2015

PRESS RELEASE

October 8, 2015

For Immediate Release

YEAR-TO-DATE SALES OF 10,298 JUST AHEAD OF 2014

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September Sales Better than Average at 1,144

WINNIPEG – September MLS® sales activity and the year-to-date pace is indicative of a steady market.  It is tracking very closely to 2014 as was forecast.  2014 saw WinnipegREALTORS®’ 5th highest MLS® sales result in its 112-year history.

If we even use the third quarter or the past 3 months as an example, and look back over 3 years including 2015, it is quite remarkable how similar they are. Some may say nearly identical as there is a difference of only 7 sales between the highest and lowest sales results.  In order of highest third quarter MLS® sales to lowest they are as follows: 2013 – 3,803; 2014 – 3,802; 2015 – 3,796. You would be hard pressed to find such a minimal sales difference in any other major Canadian real estate market.

“They are not headline grabbing numbers,” said WinnipegREALTORS® president David MacKenzie. “What they tell us is we are very much in a narrow range of monthly MLS® sales results when up against the same month in 2014. Stability lives here and that is an attribute we can feel positive about in a world full of uncertainty.”

September MLS® sales of 1,144 were off 3% from September 2014.  However, they are over 2% higher from the 10-year September average.  There has only been one September when sales climbed over 1,200. Despite sales being down 3% from September 2014, dollar volume of $307 million eclipsed last year’s level of $305 million and is the highest MLS® dollar volume on record for September.

Year-to-date dollar volume is now over $2.8 billion, up 2% from 2014.  At 10,298 sales, year-to- date sales are in a virtual deadlock with 2014 as a mere 20 more sales have been processed through WinnipegREALTORS® MLS® in 2015 when compared to the same period in 2014.

More activity has emerged in the last few years with listings. Winnipeg is in a far more balanced market with 5,538 MLS® listings available at the end of September.  This equates to roughly 5 months of supply if no new listings were to come onto the market.

Single family homes represent the most at 3,110 while condominiums are well back at 860. There are another 708 vacant land listings.

“People in the market who are looking to buy property are well placed at this time to take advantage of a healthy supply of all MLS® property types within our market region,” said David MacKenzie. “They should be calling their REALTOR® as they will advise them on what specific choices they have within the property type and location they are interested in living.”

The most active price range in September for residential-detached sales was $250,000-$299,999 (24% of sales), followed by the $200,000-$249,999 (19%) and $300,000-$349,999 (12%).  Average days on market for residential-detached sales was 35 days, 2 days slower than September 2014. The highest priced residential-detached sale was $1,150,000. The least expensive sale was $39,500.

The busiest condo price range was $150,000-$199,999 (30% of sales), followed by the $200,000 to $249,999 (22%) and $250,000- $299,999 (16%).  Average days on market for condominium sales was 56 days, 16 days slower than September 2014. The highest-priced condo sale was $482,500 and the lowest-priced sale was $72,500.

Established in 1903, WinnipegREALTORS® is a professional association representing over 1,880 real estate brokers, salespeople, appraisers, and financial members active in the Greater Winnipeg Area real estate market.  Its REALTOR® members adhere to a strict code of ethics and share a state-of-the-art Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) designed exclusively for REALTORS®. WinnipegREALTORS® serves its members by promoting the benefits of an organized real estate profession.  REALTOR®, MLS® and Multiple Listing Service® are trademarks owned and controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association and are used under licence.

For further information, contact Peter Squire at (204) 786-8854.

RD Sales Pie Chart September 2015

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WinnipegREALTORS® MLS® Market Release for August 2015

PRESS RELEASE

September 8, 2015

For Immediate Release

AUGUST MLS® SALES UP 11%

New August Dollar Volume Record Set at close to $341 million

WINNIPEG – The strong sales performance in August resulted in bringing year-to-date sales ahead of last year for the first 8 months of 2015. Last month 2014 was ahead slightly but the lead slipped away by the end of August owing to the 11% increase in sales over August 2014.

Dollar volume on the other hand has remained ahead of 2014 throughout the year.  In fact, August reinforced this consistent edge by setting a new dollar volume record for this month.  Over $340 million was transacted through the MLS® in August with one single family home sale fetching $2.1 million. Year-to-date dollar volume is now over $2.5 billion. It is up nearly 3% over last year and is the highest level it has ever been for the first 8 months.

At 1,258 sales, August 2015 is right up there with the best. The three higher August month sales on record are modestly better with none reaching the 1,300 level.  As for listings, compared to the last few years, where there was a 25% and 19% increase in MLS® inventory by month end over the previous year, this year’s 5,600 listings is more restrained.  It is up less than 10% from August 2014 and down nearly 400 listings from last month.

Nevertheless, the healthy supply of listings which roughly equates to four and one-half months on hand if no new listings were to come on the market, has not gone unnoticed by buyers wishing to take advantage of historically favourable mortgage rates and some of the more affordable house prices in the country.

“At this point in the year, we are experiencing our 5th best sales year and dollar volume is ranked first and poised to set a new record by year end,” said WinnipegREALTORS® president Dave Mackenzie. “We are confident in the stability and consistency of Winnipeg’s real estate market. It really is symptomatic and reflective of a Manitoba economy which is diverse, resilient and performing well.”

Manitoba boasts one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country and has shown positive gains in job creation. Its unemployment rate has averaged 2.1 % below Canada’s rate over the past 15 years. Manitoba’s GDP is expected to be the third best in the country at 2.2% in 2015.

While condominium sales have been the subject of some concern this year some perspective is in order. Based on a five-year average of sales up until the end of August 2015 sales of 1,118 are only down 3%. The 160 condo sales or 26% increase in August over the same month last year has narrowed the year-to-date deficit from 19% at the end of July to 13% at August month end.

“Two things need to be kept in mind for condominiums in the context of our local market,” said Mackenzie. “Despite their gains in overall MLS® market share over the last few years at the expense of single family homes, the latter still represents the lion’s share of our MLS® market activity. This year three out of every four sales is a single family home where condominiums have been closer to one in ten at 12% of total MLS® market share. The second point is we still have four months to go and a month like we had in August shows the gap may be narrowed further before year end.”

Speaking more to the affordability of Winnipeg’s housing market where prices have been held in check due to a very balanced housing supply, the recent release of RBC’s housing affordability index for the 2015 second quarter is helpful in understanding where we fit in a national context.  It shows when it comes to buying a detached bungalow based on the pre-tax income needed to service the costs of owning a home at current market values Winnipeg is right in line with Montreal and Ottawa, not far off Calgary and Edmonton and well below Toronto and Vancouver.

RBC’s chief economist Craig Wright said “…homebuyers in the province continue to face little undue pressure as affordability levels remain very close to historical norms.”

The most active price range in August for residential-detached sales was $250,000-$299,999 (22% of sales), followed by the $200,000-$249,999 (17%) and $300,000-$349,999 (16%).  Average days on market for residential-detached sales was 38 days, a week slower than August 2014. The highest-priced residential-detached sale was a home in Headingley which sold for $2.1 million. The least expensive sale was $35,000.

The busiest condo price range in August was $150,000-$199,999 (31% of sales), followed by $200,000-$249,999 (22%) and $250,000-$299,999 (19%).  Average days on the market for condominium sales was 55 days, two weeks slower than August 2014. The highest priced condo sold for $501,000 and the lowest priced sale was $60,000.

Established in 1903, WinnipegREALTORS® is a professional association representing over 1,880 real estate brokers, salespeople, appraisers, and financial members active in the Greater Winnipeg Area real estate market.  Its REALTOR® members adhere to a strict code of ethics and share a state-of-the-art Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) designed exclusively for REALTORS®. WinnipegREALTORS® serves its members by promoting the benefits of an organized real estate profession.  REALTOR®, MLS® and Multiple Listing Service® are trademarks owned and controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association and are used under licence.

For further information, contact Peter Squire at (204) 786-8854.

RD Sales Pie Chart August 2015 Sales ComparisonsAug2015

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