by Peter Squire
January MLS® sales of 634 increased 11% over the same month last year and 8% over the 5-year average for January. Dollar volume rose 12% to $175 million. The 1,783 new listings entered on the MLS® in January also resulted in a double-digit gain of 19% compared to January 2018.
“This is the best start on record for January in our local real estate market,” said Kenneth Clark, president of WinnipegREALTORS®. “However, as they say, one month does not make a year so we remain cautiously optimistic.”
On a positive note, mortgage rates are remaining historically low with the Bank of Canada signaling a wait and see approach on any interest rate increases this year. Buyers have also had over a year to adjust to the B-20 mortgage regulation rules which came into effect January 1, 2018.
“The noticeable bump up in new listings includes some of those move–up buyers last year that decided to remain on the sidelines to figure out what they could afford to buy based on the new mortgage regulations,” said Clark. “Helping make it easier for them to enter our housing market this year is a combination of a healthy supply of available listings to choose from at affordable prices.”
No better example of affordable prices came by way of the condo sales activity in January 2019. In what is more the exception than the rule in our local market, there were 34 sales under $150,000 compared to 12 in January 2018. A number of these units sold for as low as $31,500 with total square footage of less than 500 square feet. 56% of total condo sales went for less than $200,000.
For comparison purposes, 22% of residential-detached or single family homes sold for less than $200,000. On the other end of the price spectrum, the highest-priced single family home sold for $910,000 while a condominium sold for $832,229.
WinnipegREALTORS® just held its annual forecast breakfast and indicated that sales should outpace 2018 while prices will remain stable. The condo property type in particular is experiencing an elevated supply of listings going into 2019, so will be one to watch closely.
“Knowing which questions to ask with a myriad of terms and conditions to consider, is best left to a REALTOR® — an experienced negotiator who is objective about the buying process,” said Marina R. James, CEO of WinnipegREALTORS®. “Our REALTORS® are there to serve your interest in achieving the best outcome for you.”
Peter Squire is WinnipegREALTORS® Vice President, Market Intelligence and External Relations