July home sales boosted by more listings on the market resulting in greater affordability


Dollar volume sales broke through the $300-million barrier for the first time in July, eclipsing $350 million
in transactions, according to new
statistics released by WinnipegREALTORS®.
“July is proof that, despite some of the challenges we faced earlier this year,” said WinnipegREALTORS® president Richard Dettman, “resiliency is one of our market’s strong suits.
“We are back on track to record one of our best years in the 110-year history of the association,” he added.
A boost to the July dollar volume total was the sale of a $1.18-million home.
Dettman said July sales activity was helped by being only 19 units shy of the highest number for the month ever.
In July 2008, 1,407 sales were recorded on the association’s MLS® system.
When compared to the same month in 2012, this year’s sales for July increased by 13 per cent to 1,388 MLS® units, while dollar volume rose by 20 per cent to $352.8 million.
“The availability of more MLS® listings since the 1990s is a real positive development for buyers,” said Dettman. “We saw them take advantage of having more to choose from in July and they will have the same opportunity in August.”
The inventory of 3,908 active MLS® listings remaining at the end of July was up 16 per cent over the same period in 2012.
“Without listings you cannot have sales,” said Dettman, “and July was exceptional in having more than 2,000 new listings come on the market.
“This level of listings is typical of a spring month rather than a summer month,” he added.
“Given how there was a delay in spring market activity due to adverse weather, we may well have been in a catch-up mode in July.”
Condominium sales performed especially well last month, registering a 38 per cent jump over July 2012.  
The impressive sales are shown by the results recorded for the year to the end of July, when compared to previous years. 
The 1,042 condo sales recorded this year over the course of seven months represented an entire year of sales in 2005. In 2004, there were less than 1,000 condo sales.
Dettman said much of the increase in condo sales is the result of buyers seeking more affordable housing
“The flight to affordability is alive and well this year,” he added.
An example of the flight to affordable housing options was that 29 per cent of all condo sales were between $150,000 and $199,999, which is typically the entry level for first-time home buyers into the housing market.
Following a close second was the price range between $200,000 to $249,999, which represented 26 per cent of all condo sales in July.
Condo listings were only on the market for 33 days, with sales occurring eight days sooner than in July 2012.
As a result of July’s strong performance, year-to-date dollar volume sales rose slightly above last year’s pace. While July this year and last hit $2 billion in dollar volume within just seven month’s, the amount recorded this year is slightly ahead of 2012’s pace. There were $2 billion in sales in the first seven months of 2012 and $2.03 billion by the end of July 2013 
“Affordability and an extra supply of homes is really helping us out
this year,” commented Peter Squire, the market analyst for Winnipeg-
Dettman said the highest conversion of sales-to-listings for July occurred in the Valley Gardens MLS® area in northeast Winnipeg. All of the listings entered in the association’s MLS® system sold within the first seven months of the year.
But Squire said that not all MLS® areas are created equal. In one MLS® area, just one of 66 MLS® listings
actually sold by the end of July.
The most active residential-
detached price range in July was from $250,000 to $299,999 with 22 per cent of total sales in July.
The $200,000 to $149,999 price range followed, registering 22 per cent of the sales volume for the month.
The average number of days on the market for a residential-detached home before selling was 32, which was 10 days off the pace set last month and six days behind the pace in 2012.
An example of the variability in the MLS® market was the sale of one property for just $17,500.