Winnipeg among nation’s leaders in home sales records

REALTORS® in Canada sold more properties through the MLS® system in May than in any other month since the Multiple Listing Service® was created more than 50 years ago, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association. 

“May marks the fourth consecutive month in which the major market average price broke all previous records,” said CREA chief economist Gregory Klump. 

“Sales activity continues to run high, despite rising interest rates and home prices. That shows how additional full time job growth, rising incomes and resilient consumer confidence are working together to keep housing demand strong.”

Unadjusted sales in Canada’s major markets totalled 37,460 units in May 2006, the highest level on record for unadjusted monthly sales, and an increase of 4.4 per cent from the previous record of 35,874 sales recorded in May 2005. 

It was not, however, a record on a seasonally-adjusted basis.

New listings in Canada’s major markets totalled 58,794 units in May 2006, which is also the highest level on record for unadjusted new listings, and an increase of 3.1 per cent from the previous record of 57,004 recorded in March 2006. 

Seasonally-adjusted new listings numbered 46,117, which was the highest level since May 1991.

Local May MLS® sales increased by three per cent to 1,471 units when compared to May last year, setting an all-time monthly sales record, reported the Winnipeg Real Estate Board.

May 2006 will also go down in the WREB record book for the first time that monthly dollar volume beat the $200-million mark and the first time that three homes priced at more than a $1 million sold in a month. 

“These are some never-before-seen results,” said WREB president Walter Boni. “This is the fifth straight year the WREB is enjoying record sales in its 103-year history.”

Residential-detached sales in Winnipeg in May were similar to last month with the most activity in the two price ranges between $130,000 and $199,999. 

Just under half of all houses sold through the Winnipeg MLS® sold for above the list price.

The MLS® residential average price in Canada’s major markets passed the $300,000 mark for the first time in May 2006. 

The average price was $303,836, the highest level on record, and a year-over-year increase of 12.9 per cent from last May.

CREA’s chief economist also noted that recent price increases are resulting in a growing shortage of lower priced resale home listings in a number of markets. 

“That is crimping sales in lower price ranges and pushing up the average price for MLS® home sales,” Klump added.

Calgary was one of the major markets that set a number of MLS® records in May, including average price. 

The Calgary Real Estate Board reported the average residential price was up in May nearly $110,000 over last year to hit $358,214. Single-family homes led the way with the average price hovering close to $400,000 for the first time ever, which is up almost 43 per cent compared to the same period last year.

Due to strong migration of people to the city, the demand likely won't diminish any time soon, although sales could slow down in the short term, said CREB president Kevin Clark. “With the summer market soon upon us, we would anticipate a softening of unit numbers in the weeks ahead, but the prices to remain on a positive trajectory.”