The real estate market is either very, very good or really, really suspect, depending on which headlines you choose to read.
It’s difficult to decide what’s really happening from the sound bites, but the numbers on the resale market for the first four months of the year paint a fairly rosy picture, according to market reports provided by WinnipegREALTORS®.
Statistics for the first third of the year are up from comparable numbers last year, and last year recorded the fourth best resale numbers in the past 20 years and the best dollar volume ever through the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®).
“Our numbers continue to support our forecast breakfast predictions,” said WinnipegREALTORS® president David MacKenzie. “In January we predicted that sales would be up from zero to two per cent year-over-year and home prices would increase by the same amount.
“And the January through April activity bears that out and then some.”
“The April MLS® listing inventory, the number of properties available for sale in Winnipeg, rose almost 36 per cent,” said Geoff McCullough, the executive director of WinnipegREALTORS®. “So buyers had more properties to choose from than last April (5,232), which indicates more balance in the marketplace.”
Listings entered into the MLS® system were also up 23 per cent over last April, with the addition of 2,837 properties this year.
Sales followed suit. The number of sales processed in the month was up close to four per cent from last April, with 1,273 sales recorded.
And dollar volume was up 8.8 per cent at $362.3 million.
The April numbers helped maintain positive year-to-date market statistics. There have been 8,336 listings entered on the MLS® system since January 1, which is up 25 per cent from last year.
And 3,538 sales have been recorded, which is up four per cent from the same period in 2014.
The January through April dollar volume is up 6.5 per cent at $962.4 million.
President David MacKenzie said market activity was positive in the first four months of this year.
“We often say that real estate is local with national averages and trends meaning very little,” he said. “Our market is our market.
“And even within our own market activity is local,” added MacKenzie. “What’s trending in Island Lakes will not necessarily be mirrored in the North End. I know of some MLS® areas where offers are few and far between while in other pockets of the City, multiple offers are still happening.”
He went on to say that in April, 22 per cent of residential-detached homes sold for more than list price, 8.5 per cent sold at list, while 69 per cent sold below list.
For condominiums, almost 11 per cent sold above list, 18 per cent sold at list and 71 per cent sold below list.
The most active price range in April for residential detached homes was between $250,000 and $299,999 with 22 per cent of total sales. It was followed by the $200,000 to $249,999 price range with 16 per cent of all sales.
The average number of days for a listing on the market was 27 compared to 26 last April. The highest priced residential-detached sale fetched $1.59 million and the least expensive sale was $8,000.
The most active price range for condos in April was between $150,000 and $199,999, representing 25 per cent of all sales.This price range was closely followed by the $200,000 to $249,999 range with 22 per cent of total sales.
The average number of days on market for condos was 49 compared to 38 last year. The highest-priced condo in April went for $630,000 and the lowest priced sale was at $244,579.
MacKenzie said Winnipeg is the second cheapest place in Canada to buy a home ($281,269 average price), due to plentiful inventory and has a healthy housing market, despite a recent Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) report that rated the local market as “high risk.”
“In Winnipeg, the risk is overvaluation and overbuilding,” according to the CMHC report, which also rated Regina as “high risk.”
On other hand, CMHC indicated Vancouver and Toronto, where the average bungalow costs over $1 million, were both judged as “low risk.”