Strong September sales and a healthy MLS® listings inventory available to buyers

WinnipegREALTORS® has reported a surge in MLS® sales and listings in September.
When compared to September last year, there was an eight per cent increase in sales activity. Last month, 1,123 MLS® sales were recorded as opposed to 1,040 for the same month last year. 
This September’s sales were also three per cent over the 10-year average for transaction activity in the month.
WinnipegREALTORS® president Richard Dettman said the upsurge in new listings was equally impressive.
“The byproduct of this surge in new offerings for buyers left an end-of-the-month inventory far larger and healthier than it has been for years,” he added.
The association reported that active MLS® listings, or inventory, at the end of September reached 4,249 units, a 22 per cent increase over 2012.
“The conversion rate,” said Dettman. “that is the number of sales divided by the number of listings expressed as a percentage, combined with the average days on the market, can be a keen measure of market strength.
“September conversion rates have been greater than 30 per cent for over a decade. This, combined with the increase in the number of homes on the market, will easily result in a third consecutive year of $3 billion in MLS® sales,” he added.
The high volume of activity during the first nine months of the year has resulted in $2.64 billion in MLS® sales, which was three per cent ahead of the pace set in 2012 for the same period.
September also established a new dollar volume record of $278.8 million, which was an 11 per cent improvement over the same month last year, and edged out the previous high-level mark recorded in September 2012.
Helping to establish the new September record was the sale of a house for $1.34 million.
The lowest MLS® sale for the month was just $11,000.
Year-to-date MLS® unit sales were down less than two per cent to 10,234 units at the end of September.
“Despite a 58 per cent increase in condominium inventory and a 24 per cent jump in residential-detached property inventory at the end of September compared to the same period last year,” Dettman said, “both property types are not seeing a significant change in the number of days they stay on the market.
“Condominium listings at the end of the month were on the market an average of 67 days compared to 63 days in 2012, while residential-detached homes went down from 55 days in 2012 to 53 days this year.”
Dettman said residential-detached listings priced over $600,000 have been on the market for the longest period at 68 days, compared to 77 days last year.
On the other hand, the inventory in the higher priced condo ranges is considerably reduced, so the average number of days on the market can be quite distorted, since there is not enough of a sample size to make a reasonable assessment, according to WinnipegREALTORS® market statistics.
The $200,000 to $249,000 residential-detached home price range accounted for 20 per cent of all such sales in September, while the next highest percentage was the price range between $250,000 and $299,999 with 18 per cent of total sales.
According to WinnipegREALTORS®, condominium sales in the $200,000 to $249,999 price range, for the first time in the history of the association, challenged the long-standing domination of the $150,000 to $199,999 price range.
The latter price range accounted for 31 per cent of all condominium sales in September, but the former price range came in a close second with 28 per cent of total sales.
Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation also reported a strong September for new home construction in Winnipeg and the 10 municipalities surrounding the city. 
Home builders began construction on 504 single-family and multiple-family housing units, which is a 6.6 per cent increase over the same month last year, according to a new report from CMHC.
Dianne Himbeault, CMHC’s senior market analyst for Winnipeg, said new home starts are now higher than the level experienced in 2012.