October real estate sales help to push dollar volume toward $3 billion record


WinnipegREALTORS® president Shirley Przybyl is confident that MLS® sales will top $3 billion for the second consecutive year and will likely establish a new dollar volume record by the end of 2012.
Dollar volume sales in October nearly reached $282, which included the sale of three $1-million-plus homes and a $925,000 condominium, resulting in a new record for the month.
“We knew coming into the second half of 2012, especially the final two months, that we were up against some absolutely terrific all-time or near-best monthly sales performances in 2011,” Przybyl said. “So it will not be easy to maintain our slim lead to the end of the year.
“On the other hand, we are confident in saying that WinnipegREALTORS® will once again hit $3 billion in sales,” she added.
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) reported in its recent Winnipeg Housing Market Outlook that the persistent low level of active listings relative to demand has resulted in continued sellers’ market conditions in the city.
“Consequently, the average price will increase 5.6 per cent to $255,000 in 2012,” according to the outlook. “This price gain will encourage more existing homeowners to list, easing upward pressure on prices moving forward.
“Under these conditions, expect price growth to moderate to 3.9 per cent in 2013 to an average of $265,000.”
The CMHC outlook expects that net migration in Manitoba, with 10,000 people arriving in both 2012 and 2013, will push the province’s resale activity past the record established in 2011, reaching 14,000 units this year and 14,100 the following year.
WinnipegREALTORS® reported 3,000 active MLS® properties are now available for sale in November, of which 1,748 are residential-detached or single-family homes.
“Based on previous November listings entries,” said Przybyl, “it can be expected that another 1,000 MLS® properties will be added to the market.
“Buyers should also be encouraged in knowing that October had a two-to-one ratio of residential-detached sales going for below list price rather than for above list price,” she added. 
“The same can be said for condominiums, but to an even greater extent, with 53 per cent of October sales going for below list price and 21 per cent achieving above list price status. 
“The remaining listings were sold at list price,” said Przybyl.
WinnipegREALTORS® reported a 25 per cent increase in MLS® vacant land sales activity this year, and a 48 per cent increase in dollar volume.
“This result is indicative of the excellent year that Manitoba home builders are having with starts will in excess of forecast expectations,” commented Przybyl.
In fact, CMHC’s outlook forecasts that total housing starts (single-family and multiple-family) in the Winnipeg Census Metropolitan Area (CMA — the city and surrounding municipalities) will reach 4,050 units in 2012, which is up from 3,331 units in 2011. Next year, housing starts are expected to remain elevated with 4,250 units recorded.
“Housing demand will be sustained over the forecast period as new homes will be required to meet the needs of a  growing population,” said Dianne Himbeault, CMHC’s senior market analyst for Winnipeg.
“Gains in the number of starts next year will be limited, however, given the already highly elevated level of supply and the expectation of modestly higher mortgage rates.” 
CMHC expects that single-family builders will surpass last year’s elevated pace of construction with 2,150 starts, which represents a 7.4 per cent increase over 2011. 
There will be a modest rise to 2,250 starts in 2013, which represents an increase of just under five per cent over 2012.
Przybyl said that when anyone is dealing with “such a dynamic and diverse market as Winnipeg’s — whether urban or rural — it is advisable to enlist the knowledge of a professional REALTOR® before attempting to buy or sell a property. “A local market expert can help you to understand what is occurring in the market with respect to your property,” said Przubyl. 
“Even within the same property type class, the difference in prices can be extreme.” 
The WinnipegREALTORS® president pointed out that the highest price sale in October was for $1.5 million whereas the lowest was $17,000.
“The difference between the two prices is a multiple of 88 times,” she added.