There has been strong year-over-year price increases for all housing types in Winnipeg, according to a new survey.
According to the Royal LePage House Price Survey, standard condominiums continued to witness the largest year-over-year average price gains climbing 8.3 per cent to $188,714.
Prices for standard two-storey homes saw an increase of 6.5 per cent year-over-year to $319,250, while detached bungalows rose 6.6 per cent to $294,625.
“The recent mortgage rule changes have put a slight damper on entry-level properties, as first-time buyers are adjusting,” said John Froese, the broker for Royal LePage Prime Real Estate. “Despite this, Winnipeg’s housing market has had a healthy third quarter — resale activity is up slightly year-over-year, while inventory levels remain in line with figures from last year.”
Froese said that Winnipeg’s strong local economy and consumer confidence have helped stimulate the real estate market.
“Strong demand has resulted in healthy price appreciation across several housing types,” he added.
“If we have learned anything from what has happened in Winnipeg over the last few years,” said Shirley Pryzbyl, the president of WinnipegREALTORS®, “it is that we have a resilient housing market that continues to perform remarkably well.”
Nationally, the average standard two-storey home in Canada increased four per cent year-over-year, rising to $403,747, while detached bungalows rose 4.8 per cent to $366,773. Standard condominiums witnessed an increase of 1.8 per cent to $243,607.
Most cities in Canada experienced modest price appreciation in the quarter, but fewer homes were sold compared to the same period in 2011.
“A drop in the number of homes trading hands typically precedes a period of softening house prices,” said Phil Soper, the president and chief executive for Royal LePage. “Where there is reduced demand, those who want to sell their homes adjust their asking price to stimulate interest.
“Home sales were positive in July,” he said, “fell nine per cent year-over-year in August and we are expecting September to show a decline as well.
“We had predicted this cyclical change early in the year, a natural market reaction after a period of strong expansion. Changes to mortgage regulations, which took effect on July 9, accelerated the correction,” added Soper.
In July, the Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced that the maximum amortization period for insured mortgages would be reduced to 25 years from 30 years. This was the fourth intervention in as many years and the most impactful.
Potential first-time buyers, which in a typical market represent one-third to one-half of all purchase transactions, felt the changes immediately.
“While hard-hit in the short-term, we expect first-time buyers to adjust to the tougher mortgage qualifications,” said Soper. “The dream of homeownership is very much alive among young Canadians. They may remain renters for some time as they save; some will opt for less expensive neighbourhoods and some will purchase smaller homes.
“In the meanwhile, we will feel their absence in national sales statistics,” added Soper.