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.
To port or not to port
If you’re considering porting, it makes the most sense to do it when your mortgage rate is lower than what’s being offered by lenders. But if the mortgage rate you can qualify for is lower than what you currently have, it might not make sense to port. Also, you should look at the penalty to break your mortgage before deciding whether or not to port.
There’s also the possibility you won’t be able to port your mortgage. Some lenders will allow you to do this while others will not. So if you’re planning to move during the term of your mortgage, this is a very important feature to have. A mortgage broker will be able to tell you which lenders are portable.
Also, not all mortgages are portable. For example, most variable-rate mortgages can’t be ported. And the amount of time you have to complete the port, which is usually between 30 and 120 days, varies among lenders. Some will allow just 30 days, which may be tight in some circumstances. But 120 days is usually enough time for someone to complete the sale of their old property and complete the purchase of their new home.
The bottom line
If you’re not planning on moving, the ability to port your mortgage is an important feature because you don’t know what the future holds. If you’re able to port your mortgage, you can save thousands of dollars and won’t be charged a prepayment penalty.
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®.
Reused by permission of the Real Estate News
By Geoff Kirbyson
Downtown Winnipeg has come a long way, baby, since a group of protesters formed a human chain around the Eaton’s Building to give it a 40-hour hug back in 2001.
Since then, more than $2 billion has been spent on new construction – including a little facility now called Bell MTS Place where Eaton’s used to stand and where the Winnipeg Jets now play – upgrading heritage buildings and retrofitting office, commercial and retail space in and around the central business district.
The combination has sparked an unprecedented jump in the number of people who not only work downtown but live there, too. Over the last five years, the downtown population has grown by 7 per cent to nearly 17,000.
Trevor Clay, chair of the WinnipegREALTORS commercial division, remembers the days before the new Manitoba Hydro headquarters, the SHED (Sports, Hospitality & Entertainment District) and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.
“You had office tenants leaving downtown to set up shop in the southwest because companies wanted to go to the suburbs where they had cheap parking and were close to good restaurants. Now some of the best restaurants are downtown and people are going to Bell MTS Place for Jets and Moose games and concerts. There are many reasons to come downtown now,” he said.
In fact, Clay, who is also a principal at Capital Commercial Real Estate Services, a Winnipeg-based commercial brokerage and property management company, believes Winnipeg’s downtown is in as good shape as it’s ever been.
“There’s lots of positive activity and private investment and lots of demand for residential and retail space,” he said.
Clay will be hosting a commercial real estate panel at the WinnipegREALTORS annual Forecast Breakfast, which takes place Feb. 7 at 8:30 a.m. at Canad Inns Polo Park. Much of the focus will be on problems that stakeholders would have begged to deal with just a few years ago.
Chief among them is what kind of impact will the True North Square development, currently rising into the skyline on Hargrave Street, have on the three office towers at Portage and Main?
A number of high-profile tenants, such as Scotiabank and law firm Thompson Dorfman Sweatman, have already announced their intentions to relocate to True North Square when it’s completed this summer.
Clay said while there might be a bit of a lag in filling the soon-to-be-empty space at Winnipeg’s most famous corner, the more pressing issue will be landlords of Class B and C office space upping their games.
“We’re seeing a flight to quality. Tenants in older office, industrial and retail spaces are looking to get into better locations. (Those landlords) are going to have to figure out how to compete in a more competitive market,” he said.
The Forecast Breakfast’s commercial real estate panel includes Paul Jordan, CEO of The Forks North Portage Development, who oversees The Forks; Angela Mathieson, president and CEO of the CentreVenture Development Corp., Winnipeg’s downtown redevelopment agency; Tom Janzen, an associate at Scatliff+ Miller+Murray Inc., a local architecture firm; and Sasa Radulovic, a partner at 5468796 Architecture.
Downtown residents are going to have some company at Winnipeg’s biggest tourist attraction in a few years. Jordan said he and his team are entering the final planning stages to redevelop 12 acres of surface parking lots into condos and apartments.
The first phase will be about 300 units but he hopes there will be five times that many by the time everything is built out.
“Since Day 1 at The Forks, there were always plans to have residential. We’re going to create a European-style village with four to six-storey buildings, great little piazzas and public parks,” he said.
Things will be just as busy over at CentreVenture, where the new three-year business plan will focus on realizing the potential of SHED, particularly around True North Square and the surrounding buildings. Mathieson is also eager to build the downtown population.
“We’re very optimistic about the future. We don’t want the momentum to stall. We need to achieve a high level of affordability downtown. The people with the highest propensity to live downtown are younger and they have less income. It’s a real challenge to have housing at a price point that is affordable for that target market.”
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.”