Sale of $2-million home helps push year’s dollar volume beyond $3 billion

The $500,000-and-above upper tier of the Winnipeg residential real estate market had an exceptional November, with sales increasing by 25 per cent when compared to the same month in 2011.
For only the second time in the city’s history, a home sold for more than $2 million. In 2006, another home sold for $2.05 million.
During the last quarter of the year up to the end of November, five homes have sold for $1-million-plus.
While the upper-end of the market showed increased strength, overall sales for the month were slightly topped by 2011 and 2007.
“Interestingly, these are the same two years that 2012 is competing with for the overall best year on record for total MLS® sales,” said WinnipegREALTORS® president Shirley Przybyl.
“With an extremely thin marginal lead over 2011 and just behind a little more than one per cent of the sales generated in 2007, December sales will have to rely on converting greater inventory of active listings than existed in 2007,” she added. “By doing so, it will also edge out 2011.”
Despite sales being off the record level set last year for November, Przybyl said, dollar volume for the second year in a row eclipsed $200 million, reaching a new milestone for the month.
Dollar volume was up seven per cent this November over the same month last year. In 2011, the total value of sales for November was $202.1 million, while dollar volume sales rose to $215.8 million in the past month.
“It is also noteworthy that with a month to go in the year, the year-to-date dollar volume has exceeded $3 billion for the second year in a row and will easily surpass last year’s record in early December,” added Przybyl.
During November, MLS® unit sales decreased by four per cent from last year’s total of 881 units sold in November.
Przybyl said year-to-date total sales of 12,392 units are in a virtual deadlock with the same period last year.
“Only 25 more units were sold in 2011,” she commented. 
“However,” Przybyl added, “year-to-date dollar volume is up six per cent to $3.05 billion and stood at $2.88 billion for the same period a year ago.
“We said 2011 would be a hard act to follow and it has been just that,” said Przybyl. “Nevertheless, we have still managed to keep pace with regard to sales and have increased our dollar volume due to a modest overall price appreciation in our MLS® market.”
A recent RE/MAX report predicts that the average selling price of a home in Winnipeg will rise to $254,000 by the end of the year, and increase to almost $261,000 in 2013.
The RE/MAX report indicated the average price of a home in the city has risen by nearly five per cent in 2012 from 2011, and will rise a further three per cent in 2013.
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation also predicts that Manitoba will have one of the strongest housing markets in the nation in 2013. CMHC’s fourth-quarter forecast report is predicting that Manitoba will be only one of four provinces to experience an increase in MLS® sales, although the hike in 2013 will be by a modest 0.7 per cent.
“Canada’s economic performance is expected to show signs of improvement, particularly in the later half of the year, which should bode well for housing markets across the country,” said Elton Ash, a vice-president with RE/MAX in a press release. “Historically low interest rates will also continue to drive healthy home-buying activity, especially in the move-up segment.”