Midway through the year housing market confidence is high


After a spectacular May, when MLS® sales went over 1,600 units for only the second time in WinnipegREALTORS® history, June sales slowed down.
June MLS® sales fell below 1,500 units for the first time after five years of sales above this total. In June, unit sales fell by two per cent to 1,487 when compared to the same month last year.
However, a new June dollar volume sales record was still set by hitting $369.4 million, which was one per cent better than the mark set last year.
MLS® sales for the first six months of 2012 are off the record pace set in 2007 by less than one per cent, while dollar volume is well ahead of the previous high established in 2011. 
But MLS® sales for the first six months this year were four per cent higher than the first six months last year. Year-to-date MLS® sales stood at 6,921 units, compared to 6,660 in 2011.
Year-to-date dollar volume sales by the end of June were 10 per cent greater than last year, rising to $1.7 billion.
“At the midway point of the year,” said Shirley Przybyl, president of WinnipegREALTORS®, “we are outperforming our forecast by a few percentage points, but we still need to bear in mind that there are six months left in the year, and we are going up against an impressive third-quarter result in 2011.
“In my view,” she added, “consumer confidence remains firmly intact in our local market, with Winnipeg still a rock of stability despite the global uncertainty.”
Przybyl said good news for home buyers was an improvement by four per cent in new listings in June when compared to the same month last year, with nearly 2,000 new listings registered. 
The overall inventory of listings stood at 3,357 by the end of June, which is up by one per cent from the same period in 2011.
For residential-detached home sales in June, the most active price range was between $250,000 and $299,999 with 24 per cent of all sales.
One home sold for $1.05 million, which was significantly more than the lowest sale of $29,000.
The most active price range for condominiums was between $150,000 and $199,999, which accounted for 44 per cent of all sales.
New homes
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) reported a 37 per cent decrease in single-family home construction activity last month, with only 129 foundations poured.
But after six months, single-detached housing starts numbered 945 units, which is seven per cent ahead of last year’s pace.
“Despite this month’s reduction, new home construction remains on pace to finish the year above 2011 levels,” said Diane Himbeault, CMHC’s senior market analyst based in Winnipeg. 
“Overall housing starts continue to be supported by Winnipeg’s growing population,” she added.
While new home construction fell in June, multiple-family construction increased, with 40 more units started than in June 2011.
After six months of multiple-family construction, 813 were apartment units, 106 were rowhouse units and 58 were semi-detached units.