Another benchmark year for real estate

It was another record year for MLS® sales across Canada, and the first time since 1987 that the Winnipeg Real Estate Board was able to set an annual sales record by doing over 12,000 MLS® transactions. 

Not surprisingly, dollar volume also eclipsed previous record highs by finishing off the year over $1.62 billion, up over 20 per cent from 2004 when dollar volume’s record then was $1.34 billion. 

Due to unprecedented demand for MLS® properties in recent years, especially in 2005, dollar volume, or the total dollar amount of real estate transactions in a year on MLS®, has been setting new highs annually since 2001 when the year-end total fell just shy of $1 billion. Since that time, dollar volume has reached the $1 billion mark at a much faster pace. 

While increases in sales has been partly responsible for this upward new dollar volume benchmark, the most significant development has been 37 consecutive months when the spread in the increase in dollar volume from the increase in sales has consistently been in double-digits. 

Last year had the largest spread to-date at 15 per cent. As a result, average MLS® property types have being rising at a double-digit percentage rate for three straight years. 

Condominiums were the only property type not to enjoy a double-digit increase in 2005 compared to 2004, but over the past three years have gone up at a higher percentage than residential-detached properties. 

One trend readily apparent from viewing the chart is the higher percentage rate increase in the most affordable property types. 

Mobile homes have had the highest rate of increase at 20 per cent last year and 68 per cent over the last three years.

When you break out the City of Winnipeg residential-detached sales from the outlying rural municipalities and capital region, there is a widening divergence in average sale price from previous years. Last year was particularly accentuated with the average house price outside the city ($162,000) being $22,000 higher than within ($140,000). In 2000, the difference was half that amount with the average house prices being $104,000 and $93,000, respectively. The overall average house price for 2000 was $94, 454. 

For 2004, the difference was $14,000. Outside Winnipeg, the average selling price was $140,000 and within  teh city the average was $126,000. From 2004 to 2005, the jump in the average sale price outside and within the city was16 and 12 per cent, respectively. 

The biggest year-over-year average MLS® area house sales price increases in the city were in the downtown area at 54 per cent. In the inner-city area, encompassing all of West Broadway and the easternmost part of the West End around the University of Winnipeg, the average price shot up 29 per cent. 

The most marked jumps in average prices in outlying MLS® areas occurred in the beach resort areas on the east side of Lake Winnipeg at 45 per cent and the RMs of Tache and Ste. Anne at 36 per cent.

Nearly half of all residential-detached properties that sold in 2005 went at or above list price. As a result, many MLS® areas in the city had sale price to list price ratios of 100 per cent or higher. For example, the southeast quadrant of the city was exceptionally solid with MLS® areas from St. Boniface and Norwood Flats down through St. Vital to River Park South all having ratios above 100 per cent. Windsor Park followed suit in this area of the city with a 103 per cent sales price to list price ratio. 

None of the rural MLS® areas had ratios that reached 100 per cent, although a number were not far off. 

The average time a house spent on the MLS® market in 2005 was only 23 days or just over three weeks. For condominiums, it was a little shorter at exactly three weeks.

The most active MLS® areas for residential-detached sales in 2005 were also some of the most affordable. They were the West End (between Polo Park and Alverstone) at 358 sales; the northern part of the North End (bounded by Mountain and Lansdowne) at 332 sales, and an MLS® area in East Kildonan (between the Red River and Munroe Avenue) at 273 sales. Average sale prices for these three MLS® areas were $90,000, $84,000 and $73,000 respectively.

The busiest rural MLS® area was the Interlake region, which includes Gimli and Winnipeg Beach, with 173 sales. Next was Stonewall and the surrounding RM of Rockwood and Woodlands with 112 sales.

Tuxedo had the highest MLS® area average residential-detached sale price in 2005. It was up 20 per cent from 2004 at just under $384,000. 

Headingley South was second highest at $366,000 and East St. Paul was not far behind at $363,000. 

Four homes sold for $1 million or more (the most ever in one year), and one condominium sold for $570,000.

The most active condominium MLS® sales area was Osborne Village/Crescentwood with 141 sales.

The MLS® areas covering Harbour View South and the established part of Transcona, between Plessis and Day, had the distinction of being the only two areas to have their entire housing inventory sold out in 2005.