Strong November sales help to establish new annual dollar volume record

With a month to go in the year, WinnipegREALTORS® has already established a new record for dollar volume sales. MLS® sales totalled $2.58 billion as of the end of November, surpassing the previous record of $2.47 billion set in 2009.
“In many respects,” said WinnipegREALTORS® president Claude Davis, “the first 11 months bore a striking resemblance to last year with the exception that prices are continuing to climb, as they have been doing year-over year since 2003. 
“Looking ahead to the end of the year, WinnipegREALTORS® has already set a new annual MLS® dollar volume record and will see MLS® sales finish over the 12,000 unit mark — a level only surpassed five times previously,” he added.
With 11,583 units sold by the end of November,  year-to-date MLS® sales were virtually deadlocked with last year’s total of 11,563. November MLS® unit sales were down less than one per cent to 829 transactions.
On the other hand dollar volume sales during last month rose by 10 per cent to $182.2 million when compared to the same month in 2009, which is a new record for the month.
Residential-detached sales in November were most active in the $150,000 to $199,999 price range and the 200,000 to $249,999 with 22 per cent of all sales, respectively.
Condominium sales also performed well in November, rising 10 per cent when compared to the same month last year. Nearly 70 per cent of all condo sales were in the $100,000 to $249,000 price range.
Over 17,000 units have been listed on MLS year-to-date, which is two per cent ahead of last year. However, the conversion of these listings to sales has dropped by 1.4 per cent from 2009.
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation reported construction began on 223 units in November in the Winnipeg Census Metropolitan Area (CMA), which was up from the 190 units for the same month last year.
CMHC said multiple-family unit starts were primarily responsible for the increase. There were  74 multiple-family starts last month, significantly more than the 16 recorded in November 2009.
To the end of November, total starts for the year reached 2,981 units, a substantial improvement over the 1,907 units started during the first 11 months of 2009.
In the Winnipeg CMA, there were 149 single-family home starts in November, a 14 per cent decrease from November last year.
“It was difficult for single-detached builders to surpass the November 2009 starts, as they represented a 20-year high for the month and were buoyed by strong demand and unseasonably accommodating weather,” said Dianne Himbeault, CMHC’s senior market analyst based in Winnipeg.
“Despite the reduction, the 149 single-family homes started last month is in line with the five-year average,” she added.
Through the first 11 months of the year, single-detached starts reached 1,778 units, which was 29 per cent more than during the same period a year earlier and only a few units below the 1,781 homes started in the first 11 months of 2008.
Multiple-family starts for the first 11 months hit 1,203 units, which was more than double the 526 recorded for the same period last year.
“While rental construction has dominated multiple-family activity in 2010,” said Himbeault, “condominium construction year-to-date was almost four times the number of units started last year.”