Overall performance of the housing market remains robust


First-quarter MLS® housing activity kept pace with last year’s best-ever performance.
This year, MLS® sales were down two per cent, with 2,483 units sold, while dollar volume sales were up three per cent to $589 million when compared to the same three-month period in 2011.
“We have to keep in mind that there was a real impetus last year to buy earlier than in other years,” said WinnipegREALTORS® president Shirley Pryzbyl, “given the change in the Canada Mortgage and Housing  Corporation-insured amortization period from 35 to 30 years.
“And yet, we are still close in sales transactions so far in 2012.”
In March, sales were down four per cent, as were dollar volume sales, when compared to March last year. However, it was still the second-best March on record and the expectation is that April will see an increase in sales activity over the same month last year.
“There is a real opportunity to catch up in April as the same month last year was negatively affected by the 2011 flood, when both listings and sales fell off from what would be normally expected during the spring market.”
Pryzbyl said market indicators, such as days on the market and percentage of sales above list price, show that the local market remains robust in its overall performance, and she expects dollar volume sales will rise to record levels.
In March, 45 per cent of all sales were above the list price.
One home in Crescentwood, advertised as a “fixer-upper,” had 72 offers, and sold for $80,000 above list price.
But Pryzbyl cautioned that 72 offers is an extreme exception, not the rule, and that not all city “resale properties are the same.”
Pryzbyl pointed out that 55 per cent of sales were at list price or below list price.
“The greater Winnipeg market region is very diverse in its make-up with all sorts of different factors at play,” she added, “especially when it comes to various property types and areas within the city and rural municipalities.
“Your expectations may not align with what is happening at this time in the market, so it’s important, whether buying or selling, to discuss them with a REALTOR®, the local market expert.”
Pryzbyl said 17 per cent, or more than 200, active residential-detached listings are available for sale going into April when compared to March, which should help moderate the upward pressure on home prices.
“It’s good news for buyers,” she added.
For residential-detached sales in March, the most active price ranges were from $200,000 to $249,999 and from $250,000 to $299,999, accounting for 20 per cent, respectively, of all sales.
The most active price range for condos was from $150,000 to $199,999 with 36 per cent of all sales.