Cold hasn’t chilled real estate market’s record-setting pace

Winnipeg Real Estate Board president Walter Boni said he was surprised that the arrival of colder weather failed to put more of a chill into November’s MLS® results.

“The numbers are still strong for November and year-to-date we’re still well ahead of last year’s pace,” he added. “It was a good month with very, very strong sales and dollar volume.”

Traditionally, the arrival of colder weather does put a chill into potential home buyers’ aspirations, but the Winnipeg real estate market didn’t slow down despite November being dramatically colder than the same month in 2005.

Although the last week of November was 8°C below the normal low for the month — it was -23.4°C on November 30 — MLS® unit sales were off less than one per cent from the same month in 2005 with 825 unit sales.  

On the other hand, MLS® dollar volume was up 15 per cent over the same month last year, reaching $127.9 million as opposed to the $111.1 million in sales last November.  

Year-to-date MLS® sales are up two per cent when compared to the same period in 2005. The WREB recorded 11,711 unit sales for the first 11 months of this year, while dollar volume rose 15 per cent to $1.773 billion.

“We’re already in record territory,” said Boni. “It’s just a matter of how far we will go by the end of the year.

“Actually, we were in record territory in October,” he added.

Boni said there is even a chance that the WREB will record $2 billion in sales by the end of the year for the first time in the board’s history.

Potential home buyers should also take note that the board’s MLS® listing inventory stands at just under 2,200.

MLS® listings in November were up one per cent when compared to the same month last year while listings from January to November were up seven per cent when compared to the same 11-month period in 2005.

“With an increase in listing inventory and moderating demand, the market is becoming more balanced,” said Boni. “It’s a healthier market than what we were experiencing in the spring and early summer when multiple offers and sales over list price were the norm. 

“The steam is out of the pressure cooker and buyers are on a more equal footing now,” he added. 

“Sellers are still benefiting from the steady dollar volume increase, but buyers can finally start to do their due diligence again and not get caught up in the frantic pace that we’ve seen the past few years.”

The three residential-detached price ranges from $100,000 to $199,999 again had the dominant market share with 54 per cent of total houses sales.  

The $70,000 to $99,999 price range was the fourth most active with 14 per cent of all sales.  

The average days on the market for residential-detached sales in November was 30 days, two days slower than last month and three days slower than November 2005.