President says local real estate market “firing on all cylinders”


The local real estate market is a outpost of tranquility amid a world verging on economic turmoil.
“Contrary to what some people and prognosticators think, given global economic uncertainty and warning signs for Canada’s economic outlook,” said WinnipegREALTORS® president Ralph Fyfe, “our local MLS® market is firing on all cylinders.
“Consumers are seeing housing as a haven of stability in contrast to other investments,” he added.
In fact, MLS® sales November established a new all-time record, reaching 881 units sold for the month; albeit, by only a single sale over the best previous November sales in 2007.
But dollar volume sales were 30 per cent higher than November 2007, and 11 per cent better than last year’s final tally for the month, which was the highest November on record prior to this year. In November, dollar volume sales hit $182.2 million for the first time during the month.
Fyfe said people are taking advantage of very favourable mortgage rates, and the “most affordable housing prices for any major city in Canada, and are by far the lowest prices among cities with an NHL team.”
While it is unexpected that 2011 will match the over 13,000 in MLS® sales recorded by the end of 2007, dollar volume sales will certainly eclipse that year’s final total.
Year-to-date, dollar volume sales to the end of November stood at $2.88 billion, well ahead of last year’s $2.58 billion, when a new record was set for annual dollar volume sales.
Residential-detached property sales increased by eight per cent in November, while dollar volume sales climbed by 14 per cent when compared to the same month last year.
Condominiums were a strong component of MLS® sales in November, grabbing a 12 per cent market share, the second highest ever for this housing type.
For the first 11 months of the year, condo sales went over 1,500 units sold, a 12 per cent increase over the same period last year.
“Condominiums have been popular this year not only as an alternative lifestyle, but because of their attractive prices in comparison to single-detached family homes,” said Fyfe.
“Over 50 per cent of condo sales in November were in the $150,000 to $199,999 price range, whereas only 18 per cent of residential-detached sales were in this price range.”
For residential-detached home sales in November, the most popular price range was between $200,000 and $249,999, accounting for 24 per cent of all sales.
On the other hand, the $150,000 to $199,999 price range accounted for 53 per cent of all condo sales in November.
Vacant lots, with 500 sales, rose by 25 per cent over the same 11-month period in 2010.
“Just under 70 per cent of all listings entered on the MLS® have sold this year,” added Fyfe.