Winnipeg’s real estate market continues to prosper in the first months of 2011, according to the latest House Price Survey by Royal LePage.
The recently-released survey showed strong price appreciation across all housing types in Winnipeg year-over-year.
Of the three housing types surveyed, standard two-storey homes posted the largest year-over-year price increases, rising 7.1 per cent to $297,125. Standard condominiums rose four per cent to $167,429, while prices for detached bungalows were up 3.8 per cent to $269,250, when compared to the first quarter of 2010.
“With interest rates remaining low and the economy beginning to strengthen, the Winnipeg market continues to remain strong,” said Michael Froese, the marketing director for Royal LePage Prime Real Estate.
“Sales are up about 10 per cent year-over-year but inventory levels are very low and this has put upward pressure on house prices,” added Froese.
“Momentum continued to build throughout the first quarter with the number of sales in March rivaling January and February sales combined.”
WinnipegREALTORS® reported the strongest sales on record for the first quarter of the year.
“We're already at a half billion dollars in sales and it’s only the first part of the year,” said WinnipegREALTORS® president Ralph Fyfe.
Fyfe said multiple offers are being offered on some listings, “especially in the more affordable price range between $150,000 and $250,000.”
He said it’s a “great time” for anyone considering selling their home to consult a REALTOR® and “get your house on the market.
“Home buyers are coming out in droves,” he added.
Nationally, low interest rates and a recovering economy continued to fuel activity in Canada's housing markets over the past year, which has led to country-wide increases in average home prices.
In the first quarter of 2011, the national average price of a detached bungalow rose 4.3 per cent year-over-year to $341,355, while standard two-storey homes rose 3.5 per cent to $379,388 and standard condominiums rose four per cent to $237,919.
“The rate at which Canadian homes are appreciating may well have peaked for the next year or so,” said Phil Soper, president and chief executive of Royal LePage Real Estate Services.
“We expect house prices will continue to creep up, but most of the excess demand created by the initial drop in interest rates has been satisfied, and affordability continues to erode slowly, allowing the listings supply to catch up. In most markets, lower single-digit percentage increases are more likely for the balance of the year.
“Canada’s real estate market has maintained momentum coming out of 2010, indicating that the post-recession recovery is continuing,” Soper added. “While low interest rates continue to drive demand, the tepid pace at which employment levels are improving is tempering the rate of home price appreciation in many Canadian cities.”
Manitoba is the exception in terms of employment numbers, according to Statistics Canada. The province’s unemployment rate of 5.5 per cent is the second lowest in the country and well below the national level of 7.7 per cent.
Over the last 12 months, the number of individuals entering the Manitoba labour force has increased by 15,100 for growth of 2.3 per cent, while at the national level, labour-force growth totalled just 1.3 per cent. Compared to the other Canadian provinces, Manitoba is ranked in first place in the percentage of labour force growth.