A strong finish to an impressive year of real estate sales


There may have been slightly more total MLS® sales in 2007, but 2011 was the year that dollar volume sales reached $3 billion for the first time.
“Pleasantly surprised and pleased about how we finished 2011 would be an accurate description,” said Ralph Fyfe, the outgoing WinnipegREALTORS® president. “Our expectations were more muted at the beginning of the year.
“As the year progressed, it became evident that momentum was building and it carried through to a record year for dollar volume sales and a near miss on achieving a new benchmark for total sales.”
In fact, there were just 13 fewer MLS® sales by the end of the year when compared to 2007’s total of 13,097. In that year, dollar volume sales totalled $2.23 billion. 
The impressive results for 2011 were fuelled by a strong finish in December. Last month’s MLS® sales had never been near the 700 level, nor had dollar volume sales climbed as high as $182 million. It took until 2009 for dollar volume sale to go over $100 million for the first time in the 108-year history of WinnipegREALTORS®.
December MLS® sales increased by seven per cent to 698 units over the same month in 2010, while dollar volume sales jumped by 18 per cent.
By the end of 2011, MLS® sales were up seven per cent higher than 2010’s total to 13,065 units sold. Dollar volume sales of $3.06 billion by the end of 2011 beat the previous year’s total by 12 per cent.
Residential-detached sales rose by six per cent compared to 2010 to 9,600 units sold, which represented 74 per cent of the total property type MLS® sales for last year.
Condominium sales reached their highest level ever with 1,600 units sold, which was up 10 per cent over 2010. Condo sales ended up representing 12 per cent of all MLS® transactions in 2011.
There was a significant difference in the average residential-sale price between quadrants in the city in 2011, with the southwest having an average price of $341,461 and the west ending the year at $202,152. Winnipeg’s southeast for the fist time reached an average price of $300,000. Rural municipalities ended up with an average price of $250,000.
The overall average price for the rural and urban areas served by WinnipegREALTORS® was $256,748, a six per cent increase over 2010.
The highest residential-detached sale in 2011 was for $1.785 million, while the lowest was just $14,000. The highest condo sale was $649,900 last year, while the lowest was $35,000.
“When we say all real estate markets are local,” said Fyfe, “it certainly applies to Winnipeg. It is readily apparent when you see how divergent prices can be within the overall  market region. That’s why it’s so important to enlist a REALTOR® — a local expert — to assess your particular circumstances and advise you accordingly.”
Fyfe said an encouraging sign for the housing market was the improvement in MLS® inventory. New listings for the last month of the year were over 600 units for the second year in a row.
“Total listings entered in 2011 went over 18,000 units for the first time in many years,” he added.