All-time record for sales established and there’s still three weeks to go in the year

A new annual MLS® record was set when a 1,351-square-foot, apartment-style condominium with a balcony overlooking the Red River was sold on December 6, according to WinnipegREALTORS®.

The condo in Riverside Terrace Condominiums along St. Mary’s Road in South St. Vital, which sold for $362,900, was the 13,080th MLS® sale of 2016, which surpassed by one the 13,079 former sales record established in 2007.

“As for the actual MLS® unit that took us over the top,” said WinnipegREALTORS® president Stewart Elston, “I am not entirely surprised as we have, in the last few years, seen a marked increase in new condominium projects that our Realtors are actively representing and marketing.”

Selling agent Sean Kirady said he will be passing onto the buyer that her purchase set the all-time record.

“More important to her is getting a condominium she will truly appreciate and enjoy for years to come.”

The all-time record was established this year, despite November sales being down less than three per cent from the same month in 2015, reported the association. In addition, a dollar volume of $243 was slightly below the $244 million in transactions recorded in November last year.

New listings entered on MLS® of 1,374 in November were down by three per cent from last year, but the number of listings was well above the long-term average.

“The two main property types went in opposite directions in November,” said Peter Squire, the market analyst for the association. “Residential-detached, or single-family, home transactions were down seven per cent, while condominiums increased by eight per cent.”

Squire said November was the first full month of sales activity since the federal government brought in tougher mortgage regulations, which require a lower debt-to-income ratio of 39 per cent and a higher stress-test threshold to qualify for buying a home at the Bank of Canada rate of 4.64 per cent when less than 20 per cent of the total purchase price is used for a down payment.

“As we are at the tail end of the year,” said Elston, “we will have to look further ahead to 2017 before we can truly determine the impact of the new mortgage regulations on our market. But the marked divergence in residential-detached and condo sales in November may be an indication of some first-time buyers having to choose a more affordable condo,” he added.

“We are fortunate to have one of the most affordable-priced housing markets in Canada, however, we still cannot ignore the fact that a number of potential buyers will be affected and may decide to save more before they enter homeownership.”

Year-to-date MLS® sales are up six per cent over the same period in 2015, according to the association’s monthly report.

By the end of November, the year-to-date dollar volume had also established a new record of $3.6 billion, surpassing the former record total of $3.5 for all of 2015.

“MLS® inventory going into the final month of 2016 is siting at just over 4,000 listings and is down eight per cent compared to the same period last year,” said Squire. “The primary reason for the decrease in listings was due to a stronger demand for listings in this year.”

“The Winnipeg housing market tends to fly under the radar of higher profile markets, such as Toronto and Vancouver, and that suits me just fine,” said Stewart. “Housing consumers in our local market should be asking questions of their Realtors and home builders to understand what is happening in the marketplace. All markets are local and then some, with differences in how property types behave in the market, as well as within specific areas of Winnipeg and the surrounding municipalities.”

The most active price range for residential-detached sales in November was from $250,000 to $299,999 with 20 per cent of all transactions. The average period on the market for residential-detached homes to sell was 36 days, which was five days quicker than November 2015.

The most active price ranges for condominium sales in November were between $200,000 and $249,000 and $250,000 and $299,999, with both representing 16 per cent of total sales. The average period to sell condos during the month was 54 days, which was five days slower that the pace set in November 2015.