Local housing market exceeding expectations this year


Ten months into 2011, year-to-date dollar volume sales reached $2.67 billion, the highest level with two months to go for any year in the 108-year history of WinnipegREALTORS®. 
The 10-months of dollar volume sales represented a 12 per cent increase over the same period last year.
Last year, dollar volume sales up to the end of October were only $2.39 billion, and by the end of 2010 total MLS® dollar volume sales hit $2.73 billion.
“We certainly expect that the 2010 record dollar volume mark will be surpassed by the end of this year,” said Peter Squire, the market analyst for WinnipegREALTORS®.
“This year has been all about exceeding expectations,” said WinnipegREALTORS® president Ralph Fyfe.
“One good example is how we were too conservative on projecting our home sales,” he added. “We underestimated the emergence of heightened listings and sales activity on new developments such as Waverley West, east Transcona, and even rural hot spots such as Steinbach.”
Fyfe said there has been a surprisingly consistent and impressive string of MLS® sales for several months, and October recorded its second best month of sales, surpassed only by two per cent by the same month in 2007.
October MLS® sales increased by 13 per cent to 1, 076 units when compared to the same month last year.
Year-to-date sales were up seven per cent to 11,486 units by the end of October.
Fyfe said nearly 70 per cent of all MLS® listings entered on the market sold over the 10-month period. 
He said extremely attractive mortgage rates in combination with alternative investments such as the stock market have contributed to the strength of the housing market.
“Interest rates are expected to remain low for longer,” said Gregory Klump, the Canadian Real Estate Association’s chief economist, “which is good news for Canada’s housing market.”
Locally, new listings rose by 11 per cent in October.
Fyfe said the improvement in the overall number of listings over the last few months has helped to create a more balanced real estate market.
With the ratio of total sales price to total listings falling under 100 per cent, means there is less price pressure on listings, according to Fyfe.
“In fact, 56 per cent of homes sold in October went for less that list price,” he added.
In October, the most active price range for residential-detached homes was between $200,000 and $249,999, which accounted for 23 per cent of total sales.
One home in St. Germaine sold for $1,75 million during October, while a Fort Garry home sold for $1 million.
Condominium sales activity was dominant in the $150,000 to $199,999 price range with 44 per cent of total sales.