Greater balance being restored to local real estate market

As a result of an influx of new listings last month,  WinnipegREALTORS® says the local housing market is becoming more balanced.

According to the latest statistical report from WinnipegREALTORS®, MLS® listing rose eight per cent this year to over 8,000 units, which is the highest total in 11 years.

“To some extent,” said WinnipegREALTORS® president Claude Davis, “we had the best of both worlds in May with MLS® house sales remaining firm and more listings coming on the market to provide a better selection for buyers to choose from.”

In May, MLS® unit sales rose ahead of May 2009 by two per cent, but were well off the torrid pace set in May 2007, which had 1,652 sales.

In addition, May sales above list price were slightly off the pace set in May 2007 and 2009, and down from April this year. 

The average residential-detached price fell to $249,523 in May this year, which was a slight reduction from the over $250,000 recorded in the previous month.

The Canadian Real Estate Association has noted a levelling off in the national average residential-detached selling price.

“In keeping with the return of a balanced housing market and typical demand-driven housing market cycle dynamics,” said Gregory Klump, CREA’s chief economist, “prices will remain stable.”

“The statistical  information compiled in May means there is a widening gap between sales and listings, which provides more inventory for buyers,” said Davis. “It will also keep a lid on the rise in prices, as more supply helps satisfy the demand in our local market.”

Davis cautioned that the market has not yet been restored to equilibrium, “as homes on MLS® in May were selling on average in only  three weeks. The very active sales activity in the two price ranges between $150,000 to $250,000 were selling on average in only 17 days.”

Last year, the average number of days on the market for May was 27. The average days on the market for April this year was the same as last month, which shows demand remains at a high level despite the increased number of listings.

In 2007, when demand was at its highest historical level, the number of residential-detached listings stood at only 1,153 units.

The number of condominium listings has also risen, hitting 317 at the end of May, which is in sharp contrast to the 174 available for the same period in 2007.

The average condo selling price in April and May reached $202,000 and $208,000, respectively, surpassing the $200,000 level for the first time in the 107-year history of WinnipegREALTORS®. 

With 43 high-end residential-detached sales over $500,000, May significantly surpassed the only 18 sales in May 2009. One of the sales last month was a $1.05-million home in Headingley.

As a result of increase in upper-level homes, average dollar sales rose 17 per cent to $325.9 million, when compared to May last year. Davis said May had the highest monthly dollar volume total on record.