More listings means more choice for home buyers

While he called June a “barnburner month” for real estate sales, Winnipeg Real Estate Board president Walter Boni also said home buyers may soon get a break.

He said MLS® listings have been steadily increasing which will give potential buyers more choice when they enter the housing market.

“It’s still a strong market (for sales),” Boni said, “but what is very encouraging is the number of new listings.

The WREB reported that 2,000 new properties came on stream in June, a 12 per cent increase over the same month last year.

Year-to-date listings have increased by 11 per cent when  compared to the same period in 2005, according to figures released by the WREB.

“Buyers won’t be fighting with so many people when making an offer,” Boni said of the possible implications of increased MLS® listings.

Of course, the number of new listings, home showings and offers depends upon the neighbourhood. 

A higher-end neighbourhood may not have seen an appreciable drop in the number of showings or offers, he added.

Actually, Boni said the market is showing somewhat of a mixed message — some homes are selling for their list price and others are selling for dramatically more.

“It seems to be hit or miss,” he added.

In some neighbourhoods where there had been 40 to 50 showings and many offers, there may now be 10 to 20 and two to three offers, Boni explained.

The strength of the market is shown by MLS® dollar volume sales reaching the $1-billion mark by the end of last week (July 9), which is the quickest this level has been reached in the 103-year history of the board. Previously, the quickest the $1-billion mark in a single year had been reached was by August 2005.

The sale of a $1.7-million home towards the end of June helped drive total sales above $1 billion.

During June, MLS® sales fell just short of the 1,500 mark and dollar volume for the second month in a row pushed through the $200 million level to record close to $233 million in MLS® sales activity. 

June MLS® sales increased by seven per cent, while dollar volume rose by 20 per cent over the same month last year. Year-to-date MLS® unit sales are up two per cent to 6,407 units.  

“Back-to-back record all time MLS® months not only make a very strong statement of the value of our REALTORS® using the best marketing system in the world for selling and buying real estate, it also speaks to the confidence Winnipeggers have in investing in real estate,” said Boni.

“It is no small feat to be doing such a large number of residential-detached MLS® sales across the city and throughout the surrounding rural municipalities and only have an average days on market of three weeks”, Boni added. “Many MLS® areas in the city are averaging two weeks if not less.”

Fifty-five per cent of all residential-detached MLS® sales in June were between $100,000 and $199,999. The remaining 45 per cent worked out to 25 per cent at $200,000 and above and 20 per cent representing sales under $100,000.  

The lowest price range of under $40,000 just captured two per cent of total sales.

The average days on market for June 2006 residential-detached sales was three weeks, three days slower than last month and one day off the pace set in June 2005.