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June shows signs of improvement in comparison to 2017

http://www.winnipegrealtors.ca/Resources/PressRelease?fileID=496

Reused by permission of the Real Estate News

WINNIPEG – June sales activity outperformed May this year and usually it is the other way around. This helps explain adjustments that are going on within the local market to account for more stringent mortgage qualifications based on higher interest rates and the federal stress test.

June sales of 1,547 decreased 5% over June 2017 and 1% over the 5-year average for this month.  Listing activity for June increased 1% over the same month last year while the current inventory of 5,206 at month end was up 6%.

June dollar volume of $473 million is down 3% over June 2017 and ahead of all other previous months of June including the best June on record in 2016 of 1,638 sales.

Year-to-date sales activity for the first six months is down 7% in comparison to the same period in 2017 and 2016 but off only 2% from the 5-year average.  Year-to- date dollar volume of close to $2 billion dipped 2% from the same period last year and 1% from the record- setting year of 2016.

“There is no question the federal stress test is suppressing our local market this year,” said Chris Dudeck, president of WinnipegREALTORS®. “However the impact is concentrated far more on the first-time buyers’ market and some buyers looking to move up and purchase their second property.”

In June alone, residential-detached sales under $300,000 decreased 19% over June 2017 while sales over $300,000 showed a 4% gain.

The same can be said for condominiums where very active sales areas like Osborne Village are seeing a noticeable drop in sales for the first six months this year compared to the same period in 2017.

Another indicator of less sales activity in the first half of this year is when you observe the percentage of listings entered on the market that have been sold. Residential-detached listings had a drop in percentage of listings sold from 61% to 56% while condominiums  has gone from 44% of listings sold in 2017 to 40% this year.

As for the properties which are selling this year, average days to sell is slightly better with the average days to sell a residential-detached property at 27 days instead of 28 in 2017. Similarly, the average days to sell a condo is one day quicker in 2018 at 42 days.

There are some clear differences however between residential-detached and condominiums at the half-way point this year. They include listings selling for above list price, the average year-to-date sales price and supply of listings available for sale.

The supply of condo listings relative to monthly demand is over five and one-half months whereas residential-detached is less than two and one-half months.

The number of residential-detached listings selling for above list price for the first six months is 25% while for condominiums it is 9%. The average year-to-date residential –detached sales price is $325,314, a 2% increase over the same period in 2017. For condominiums, its year-to-date average sales price is $240,873, a decrease of less than 1% in comparison to 2017.

Speaking of average sale prices, the chart below shows how the various MLS® zones within Winnipeg and the rural one outside the city are doing this year in comparison to 2017.

Other than the southeast MLS® zone of Winnipeg, where the average residential-detached sales price dropped from $366,288 in 2017 to $359,876 this year, all other zones showed increases with the northeast zone up the most from $248,968 to $287,841.

“When looking at 2018 you cannot understate the fact it is up against the best sales years on record in 2016 and 2017,” said Dudeck. “Considering buyers are being sidelined in many Canadian housing markets to a much greater extent than in Winnipeg , we should remain positive about our results.”

He added, “I cannot stress enough our more affordable housing prices with a wide selection of property types to choose from creates favourable conditions for buyers to purchase a property going into the second half of 2018.”

”All markets across Canada are not the same and vary even within a local market,” said Marina R. James, CEO of WinnipegREALTORS®. “You need to be calling your REALTOR® who has the knowledge and expertise to interpret what your needs are with respect to the current 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 1,900 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.
For further information, contact Peter Squire at (204) 786-8854.
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May sales decrease 11% from best month ever in May 2017

http://www.winnipegrealtors.ca/Resources/PressRelease?fileID=495

Reused by permission of the Real Estate News

WINNIPEG – May sales were down from the best May and month on record in 2017 when close to 1,700 transactions were processed on WinnipegREALTORS® MLS®.  The 1,510 sales recorded in May 2018 decreased 11% from the same month last year and are down 4% from May’s 5-year average sales numbers and 1% from the 10-year average. Dollar volume of $458.4 million decreased 8% from May 2017.

New listings coming on the market in May decreased less than 2% while inventory at the end of the month increased 3% to 5,103 listings. When broken down into the two main property types of residential-detached and condominiums, inventory sits at 2,750 and 973 respectively. If no new listings were to come on the market this inventory would run out in roughly two and one-half months for residential-detached properties and  five months for condominiums.

“While you cannot hit home runs every year, there are some headwinds facing the market this May that were not in play last year, “said Chris Dudeck, president of WinnipegREALTORS®. “Higher lending rates in tandem with more stringent mortgage qualifying requirements are dampening demand even in our more affordable housing market.  There was also a pull-forward in the spring of 2017 of new residential-detached, condominiums, single-attached and town house property type sales to avoid paying City of Winnipeg impact fees.”

Year-to-date sales of 5,021 are down less than 8% from the two busiest years on record in 2016 and 2017 but slightly ahead of the previous three years from 2013 to 2015. Dollar volume of $1.488 billion is 6% off last year’s $1.58 billion total.

Despite some slowdown in market activity in May and year-to-date, there are positive indicators to report on in May.

Average days to sell in May for residential-detached and condominiums properties were less than four and five weeks respectively. Sales of homes in the $300,000 to $349,999 price range were particularly fast-paced with average days to sell of only 16 days. Condominiums, predominantly new units, sold on average in 17 days in the $350,000 to $399,999 price range.

The average sales price in May in comparison to May 2017 was up modestly too for both residential-detached and condominiums.

An indicator of demand outstripping supply for residential-detached sales for certain MLS® areas was the number of homes selling for above list price reached 28%, a 2 percentage point increase from May 2017.

This reality is borne out by a number of neighbourhoods dispersed throughout Winnipeg which had sales numbers exceeding the number of listings remaining for sale at the end of the month. The same situation does not exist for condominiums with just 9% of condominiums in May selling for above list price. There is a healthy supply of condominium listings available to choose from throughout the Winnipeg Metropolitan Region.

The overall absorption rate for MLS® listings going into June is less than 3 and one-half months however one area to watch for is the build-up in condominium inventory. Condominium inventory is up 10% from last year at close to 1,000 listings.

“Given how there has been more time for both mortgage lenders and buyers to adjust to the new mortgage rule requirements including an modest increase in the Bank of Canada’s five-year benchmark rate, I am hopeful June may be a catch up month and will usher in improved performance in sales activity,” said Dudeck. “It would not surprise me to see June edge out May in sales this year.”

“ A professional REALTOR® is who you should be calling to find out what is your best recourse in terms of what you need to do in navigating our current real estate market”, said Marina R. James, CEO of WinnipegREALTORS®.

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April regains some lost momentum in 2018

http://www.winnipegrealtors.ca/Resources/PressRelease?fileID=494

Reused by permission of the Real Estate News

WINNIPEG  –  April sales began to take off like our Winnipeg Jets.  Sales of 1,283 were more spring-like in numbers as only down 1% from last April and up nearly 2% over the 10-year average for this month.  New listings of 2,621 in April increased 7% from the same month last year while the existing inventory at month end of 4,550 was up nearly 4% over 2017.

MLS® dollar volume of nearly $390 million just edged out last year’s total. Year-to-date dollar volume climbed over $1 billion and is less than 5% off last year’s first four month total dollar volume. Year-to-date sales of 3,511 are down 6% from the same period in 2017.

April’s average residential-detached sales price was just under $330,000, a modest increase over April 2017. Helping elevate this average sales price was a home in East Fort Garry which sold above list price for $2.6 million and three other million dollar plus home sales in the Waverley West MLS® area.

The April condominium average sales price of $236,027 was down slightly from April 2017. Condo sales of 165 were ahead of last April’s total by 5%. The highest percentage increase of all MLS® property type sales in April was duplexes at 50%.

“Clearly market activity picked up in April to show once again how resilient the Winnipeg Metropolitan Region can be in the face of some adversity with new mortgage qualification rules in place as well as higher mortgage rates,” said Chris Dudeck, president of WinnipegREALTORS®. “A real enduring strength of our local market in the last few years has been its affordable prices with different options to choose from given overall balanced market conditions.”

A true test of this year’s return to more seasonal sales activity will be this month as last May had the highest monthly sales ever at just under 1,700 sales. Can it be a jet-fuelled month? Only time will tell but there are positive signs as a result of solid market metrics in April.

While there are more listings on the market going into May than there were last year this does not mean they are all evenly distributed amongst varying property types and areas within the Winnipeg Metropolitan Region.  Residential-detached listings of nearly 2,400 lean towards tighter market conditions based on expected strong sales the next few months and condominium listings of almost 900 show a more elevated inventory and more opportunities for buyers to with longer days on market to sell and greater selection available.

One clear difference too between these main property types is the percentage of listings selling for above list price in April. 28% of residential-detached properties sold for above list price compared to 9% for condominiums.

As the market  gets busy at this time of year you need to be contacting a REALTOR® to make sure you are well positioned if selling your property, and if buying, prequalified and ready to make an offer if the right property is listed in your preferred area,” said Marina James, CEO of WinnipegREALTORS®

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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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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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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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