A good indication of heightened consumer confidence is the housing market. Based on the most recent Winnipeg Free Press/Jory Capital poll, conducted by Probe Research, findings there is no reason to doubt that the current strong housing market activity won’t continue, especially in Winnipeg.
While citizens living in Winnipeg are convinced that their city will experience a bright economic future, those living outside the provincial capital are less bullish on the economic prospects of their respective home communities, according to the poll.
Other findings from this survey of 1,000 Manitobans, taken between June 8 and 25, show that residents of rural Manitoba also lag far behind their urban counterparts when a personal economic outlook is taken into account.
Currently, more than four-in-five Winnipeg residents are “very” or “somewhat” optimistic about the economic future of their community (83 per cent, up slightly from 81 per cent in March).
Non-Winnipeg residents, on the other hand, are now less optimistic about their region’s economic prospects, with fewer than three-quarters of adults surveyed outside Winnipeg indicating that they have a positive outlook on their area’s short-term economic future (73 per cent are “very” or “somewhat” optimistic, down from 78 per cent in March).
This is the largest regional difference in economic confidence that has been recorded since March 2005, at which time 80 percent of Winnipeggers, versus 67 per cent of non-Winnipeg residents, were self-assured about their community’s economic future.
Those who are most likely to expect their personal financial situation to improve include:
• Winnipeg residents — 43 per cent versus 29 per cent of non-Winnipeg residents.
• Younger and middle-aged adults — 47 per cent of those aged 18 to 34 years and 41 per cent of those aged 35 to 54 years versus 23 per cent of those aged 55 years and over.
• Those with higher household incomes — 46 per cent of those earning more than $80,000 annually expect to be better off next year, compared to 33 per cent of those earning less than $30,000 a year.
Over and above these findings, Winnipeg and the surrounding rural municipalities have been showing sustained improvement over the last decade in housing activity — most notably in dollar volume.
“Properties continue to appreciate in value, which makes people feel good where they live,” Scott MacKay, president of Probe Research, told the Free Press.
Further evidence of the MLS® market rising again in 2010 is the fact the average house price for the last three consecutive months is hovering around $250,000, a $33,000 hike from the end of 2009.