REALTORS® were kept busy last month with the most active July for sales in the 111-year history of WinnipegREALTORS® with over 1,400 transactions.
In addition, MLS® sales established a record for the month’s dollar volume at nearly $390 million.
During the month, MLS® sales increased by seven per cent to 1,483 units, when compared to the 1,388 sold in July last year.
Dollar volume was up 10 per cent to $388.2 million, when compared to last year’s total in July.
“It was strong showing for sure,” said WinnipegREALTORS® president David Powell. “But it wasn’t entirely surprising given how the MLS® market picked up in the latter half of the second quarter.”
This July was only the second time in the association’s history that MLS® sales reached over 1,400 units, and the sales outperformed the 10-year average by nearly 200 units, which was a 15 per cent increase.
Peter Squire, the market analyst for WinnipegREALTORS®, said the association had predicted at the beginning of 2014 that there would be a repeat of the previous year in the number of sales.
Last year, the slow start was aided by the effects of a spring that took a long time to arrive, which put a brake on house sales for an extended period of time. The market didn’t really get going until June.
This year’s start to the housing market was hampered by a bitterly cold winter, coupled with a delay in the arrival of warmer weather in the spring and then below-normal temperatures and heavy rainful in the beginning of the summer.
“This year’s market has been very similar to last year’s,” he commented, “but one thing that is different is that there’s more listings available than was the case last year.”
“What is a pleasant reality for buyers is just how many more listings they have to choose from when compared to other years at this time,” added Powell.
More than 2,300 new listings were entered in July, which contributed to an overall inventory of over 5,000 MLS® listings available for buyers during the month.
Powell said the number of listings was double the amount available in 2008 and 1,100 more than the availability last year.
Squire said the greater number of listings lead to a more competitive situation and more balanced housing market conditions.
In July this year, two out of three residential-detached houses sold for less than the list price. In 2008, it was one in two, or half of all sales being above list price, with a similar number of listings available.
Condominium sales also had a strong month. Condo sales were up 18 per cent over July 2013 with 202 sold.
“Condominiums in July saw even less sales go for above list price,” said Squire, “but more sold at list price than residential-detached properties.”
“Pricing your property realistically based on current market conditions is always recommended,” said Powell. “There are no better experts to tell about the proper price point than the 1,700 REALTOR® members of our association.”
Year-to-date sales by the end of July were almost two per cent above those for the same period last year to 7,959 units, while dollar volume has risen by five per cent.
“Single-attached, which is the strongest property type year-to-date, saw an increase in July of 16 per cent over the same month last year,” said Squire.
“Residential-detached, or single-family homes, as a result of its seven per cent rise in sales activity for July, is up three per cent for the year.”
Squire said that 55 per cent of the 4,376 listings entered on MLS® year-to-date were converted into sales.
One out of four residential-detached sales in July sold in the $250,000 to $299,999 price range.
Another 30 per cent sold in the two lower price ranges from $150,000 to $249,999.
Squire said there was a wide discrepancy in the range of sale prices in July with highest sale being $2 million and the lowest sale being just $17,000.
Overall, Squire said July compared favourably to the traditional sales for June, which is typically the top month for housing market activity. “July sales were only two per cent off the pace for June 2014, when the month enjoyed the third highest level of activity for June,” he added.