Number of available homes gives buyers an amazing number of choices

By Todd Lewys

If you’re in the market for a new home, your timing couldn’t be better.

No matter whether you’re looking for a single-detached residence, townhome or condo, there are lots of properties to choose from, says Peter Squire, Vice President, Market Intelligence, for WinnipegREALTORS®.

“As of the end of May, there were 5,689 listings available for sale,” reports Squire. “Overall, listings are up about 11 per cent from last year. The local market is very healthy.”

The strong sales — which were in part driven by an uptick in sales outside the city due to greater participation of Realtors province-wide — reflected just how well all types of properties sold, notes Squire.

“Sales were strong across the board, with 71 per cent occurring in the city 29 per cent occurring in rural areas. Sales were led by single-detached homes, and then followed by condominiums, townhomes, single-attached homes, multi-family apartments, some farms, vacant land, even ma and pa stores,” he says.

This past May was the best-ever recorded by WinnipegREALTORS®. April sales numbers were also strong, as well. In both cases, residential detached and single-family properties led the way.

As for June, there still plenty of inventory to choose from.

With 3,095 single-detached homes on the market — there are also about 954 condominiums for sale at the present time — there’s plenty of inventory out there.

And while condominium sales have lagged over the past couple of years, sales have picked up in 2019.

“Sales figures for condominiums are up about 10 per cent over last year,” Squire says. “They’ve been spread out across the entire market and have been driven by affordability.”

Even though housing inventory is high, some areas of the city have seen bidding wars happen, taking some buyers back to the six-year span (about 2007 to 2012) when it was a seller’s market.

For now, Squire says the local market remains a balanced one, though it could move toward being more of a seller’s market if June sales are strong.

“There’s always going to be pockets in the city that experience high competition for properties — areas like River Heights, Crescentwood and St. Vital (i.e. River Park South) are always going to experience high demand. Even Transcona has been doing well, with affordability being part of the story there. The average home price there is $291,000, very reasonable for a single-detached home.”

There have also been no surprises in the price ranges where most of the market activity has been occurring.

As per usual, sales of single-detached homes have been strong in the $200,000 to $399,000 price range.

The $200,000 to $250,000 category has accounted for about 13 per cent of sales, while the $250,000 to $300,000 range in that category has generated 20 per cent of sales to date. The $300,000 to $350,000 category single-detached homes has logged 16 per cent of sales.

Meanwhile, single detached homes priced above $400,000 are moving better than they have in quite some time, says Squire.

“The price range of $400,000 and above is moving better with a market share of about 10 per cent — a solid figure.”

He adds that the increase in overall market activity could well be attributed to the fact that buyers have begun to wrap their collective minds around the federal government’s stringent stress test.

“I think people are starting to adjust to it, as we’re seeing more activity from first-time buyers and from buyers in the move-up market. First-time buyers are more engaged; it seems that they’ve started to determine what they can afford, and what they can’t.”

In short, with plenty of inventory across the board and excellent mortgage rates, now is a very good time to buy a home.

“Provided people are realistic about the home they want to buy, they’ll just have to qualify under the guidelines set out by the stress test. Once they do, they’ll be able to have a Realtor help them find a beautiful home in the area they want to live in at price they can comfortably afford.”