Association’s monthly report reveals that May sales hit a record-breaking dollar volume total

WinnipegREALTORS® has reported that May was the highest month ever for MLS® dollar volume with $460 million in sales.

Contributing to the final total was the sale of a $1.65-million home and a $460,950 condominium.

As well, MLS® volume surpassed 1,600 sales for only the third time in the association’s 113-year history, according to its recently-released market report for May.

Only May 2007 had a higher monthly sales total than the 1,629 transactions that took place in May this year.

“This is picking up where 2015 left off,” said Peter Squire, the association’s market analyst, “with a full recovery in condominium sales from early last year and residential-detached sales continuing to shine and show gains over the previous year.

“Beyond the two main property types, sales increases are also occurring in most other types, such as duplexes, vacant land, commercial, mobile homes, single-attached and townhouses,” he added.

Squire said both May sales and dollar volume were up 12 per cent over the same month last year.

WinnipegREALTORS® president Stewart Elston said home buyers are taking advantage of “one of the most affordable markets in the country.

“They also have the benefit of choosing from a wide array and abundance of good listings,” added Stewart.

The association’s report for May showed that new listing were robust at just shy of the 3,000 unit level coming onto the market.

“Despite all the new listings, an inventory of 5,291 units at the end of May was down eight per cent from last year,” said Squire.

Year-to-date MLS® sales of 5,446 by the end of May was up nine per cent from the same period in 2015, as well as previous years, although sales were just slightly above the total in 2012.

Year-to-date dollar volume of $1.5 billion was up 10 per cent over the same five-month period last year.

“Given that the second quarter, traditionally our busiest quarter of the year, performed so well, it sets us up for another steady and impressive year of MLS® sales activity,” said Elston.

“We may even have to adjust our annual forecast projection made in January at the end of June based on year-to-date numbers,” he added.

Squire said it is interesting to note where sales gains over the previous year were made when considering price range breakdowns.

“May this year saw quite a significant increase in residential-detached sales at the lower end of the spectrum from $125,000 to a dollar under $150,000,” he said, “but also experienced a sizable jump in sales activity from $475,000 to $599,999.

“As for condos, an upward shift occurred, with the $200,000 to $249,999 price range showing a 33 per cent increase in unit sales over May 2015.”

Squire said that in May 2013, the $150,000 to $199,999 price range dominated the local market with 40 per cent of all sales.

“The May association report for this year shows the $200,000 to $249,999 price range coming within a few sales of matching the 2013 price range for the month,” he added.

The most active price range for residential-detached sales last month was between $250,000 and $299,999 with 21 per cent of the total. Deadlocked in second place with 15 per cent of all sales were the $200,000 and $249,999 and $300,000 to $349,999 price ranges.

For condominiums in May, the most active price range was between $150,000 and $199,999  with 24 per cent of all sales. Second place was held by the $200,000 to $249,999 price range with 22 per cent of total sales.

The lowest selling price for a condo in May was $84,500, while the lowest selling price for a residential-detached home was just $37,000.

Meanwhile, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC reported housing starts of 3,588 units in May, an increase over the 3,318 units the previous month.

“Total multi-family starts continue to trend below 2015 levels,” said Braden Batch, CMHC’s senior market analyst for Manitoba, “while single-detached starts are showing growth.

“The increase from April to May was driven by rental construction, although rental starts are still below 2015 levels year-to-date,” he added.