Month-end numbers indicate a stable housing market

Last month was the third time since 2007 that June MLS® sales topped the 1,500 unit level.

There were 1,509 MLS® sales in June this year, while 1,515 units were sold in 2014.

“There was only a 55 unit sales difference last month when compared to the three per cent higher record-setting activity in June 2008,” said Peter Squire, the market analyst for WinnipegREALTORS®.

“And there’s not much difference either on a year-to-date basis,” he added. “Year-to-date sales to the end of June were running slightly less than one per cent over last year.”

Squire said sales during the first six-months of this year hit the 6,502  mark, which was only seven per cent off the 2007 total that set a record for January to June sales.

“In all honesty,” said WinnipegREALTORS® president David MacKenzie, “our Winnipeg market can be quite boring due to how remarkably close the month-end numbers are in comparison to the same month a year earlier.

“I will take that result any day over the uneven swings that occur in some other Canadian markets,” he added.

MacKenzie said a byproduct of the market’s stability is more affordable housing.

According to RBC’s most recent housing report, “affordability measures remain remarkably close to long-term averages” in the Winnipeg market area.

At an average sale price of $241,029 at the half-way mark of 2015, Squire said the average price is in line with last year.

“It’s just over one per cent higher than the same period in 2014,” added. Squire.

“As indicated at the annual MLS® forecast at the start of this year, a plentiful listing supply will ensure well-balanced market conditions will prevail and keep a lid on house and condominium price increases.”

A total of 13,728 listing have been entered on MLS® for the six-month period to the end of June, which was an increase of 14 per cent over the same period in 2014.

“Based on brisk sales activity in June, there was an inventory of approximately four months supply heading into July,” said Squire.

He said a healthy supply of MLS® listings and historically low mortgage rates means that buyers are continuing to capitalize on the housing choices available to them, jumping at the opportunity to purchase a long-sought-after home coming onto the market.

The MLS® property type breakdown shows condominium sales in June were only down six per in comparison to June 2014.

“This is a vast improvement over some earlier months, such as February and April, when they were well off last year’s sales activity,” said Squire.

“We recently surveyed our real estate brokers and the majority of them felt that the introduction of the new Condominium Act on February 1, 2015, had some impact on sales,” said MacKenzie.

“Everyone in the condominium sales process is adjusting to the new requirements of the act, so our expectation is to see sales numbers perform better in the second half of this year.”

Among the new regulations, sellers have to assemble an increased number of disclosure documents.

“Let’s not forget that an increased supply of affordable residential-detached homes competes with condominiums.” added MacKenzie.

Year-to-date sales show that residential-detached units were up five per cent, while condominium sales decreased by 15 per cent when compared to last year.

With 23 per cent of total sales, the most active residential-detached segment of the market was between $250,000 and $299,999.

The $200,000 to $249,999 and $300,000 to $349,999 price ranges  each accounted for 15 per cent of all sales.

At 35 per cent, the most active condo price range was between $150,000 and $199,999, followed by the $200,000 to $249,999 price range with 18 per cent of total sales for the property type.

“Given the outstanding selection of listings available throughout the city and the capital region, it’s advisable that buyers call a REALTOR® for their expert advice,” said MacKenzie. “REALTORS® know the market and can give you quick access to new MLS® listings.

“Your chances of finding what you want — resale or new property — has never been better.”