The Numeric Code — local MLS® real estate market by the numbers

The November and year-to-date MLS® numbers show that what has been a good year continues to get better and will finish strong. It’s another nice present under the tree.

But sometimes the numbers aren’t the whole story. Sometimes there’s a story behind the numbers. If we were the Free Press, we might call it the Numeric Code!

Let’s look at the numbers and the “real” story.

2005 record year

Last year was a record year for the Multiple Listing Service® at the Winnipeg Real Estate Board. If the board had been playing baseball it would have won the triple crown — most listings, most sales, highest dollar volume.

Entering the board’s 103rd year, president Walter Boni was cautiously optimistic. How do you improve on a triple crown year?

All the indicators were positive, but all the pundits were talking about “bubbles” and external, uncontrollable influences like a destabilized American dollar, wars and a stronger Canadian dollar.

But the indicators affecting real estate in Winnipeg still looked good.

And guess what! 

The board’s MLS® passed $1 billion in sales on July 9. To put that into perspective, the board’s first $1-billion year happened in the last week of December 2002. We’re actually looking at closing in on our first $2 billion dollar year only four years later. Talk about “Magic on the Prairies.”

Not all markets lead to positives

But the MLS® market isn’t a reflection of the entire real estate market. There is a private sale market in Winnipeg and that market has not shared the same success as the board’s resale market.

While MLS® listings are up 6.7 per cent this year over 2005 and up 14 per cent in the past five years, private sale ads to the end of October are down 6.2 per cent and in the last five years are down over 10.4 per cent! In the hottest market in memory, consumers seem to realize that MLS® is the market.

And beyond private sales, it’s not all roses. Despite the fact that a Free Press photo-journalist would like us to believe that 75 per cent of the resale market is still selling above list price (after all, who’s going to send in a picture of a house sale less than list price?),  that’s soooooo April. Today, sellers getting more than list price is at less than 26 per cent and sinking fast.

Past factoids and prognostications

At the board’s 103rd annual election meeting in November, outgoing president Walter Boni and the incoming president Wes Schollenberg made the following postulations and prognostications:

The board had its first $1-billion year in MLS® sales in December 2002. This year, the board’s MLS® hit $1 billion in sales in the second week of July!

The average single family residential house in 2000 sold for $94,454. This year, it’s $158,851 which is a  68 per cent increase.

The average condo in 2000 sold for $76,690. This year, it’s $151,572 which is a 98 per cent increase.

The highest priced home this year sold for $2.025 million while the lowest priced property was $8,000.

The highest priced condo sold for $840,000 while the lowest priced sold for $18,750.

The board participated in the purchase of The Housing Opportunity Partnership’s 58th and 59th homes on Furby and Spence in the West End.

The board also inducted two new Winnipeggers into its Citizens Hall Of Fame: Dr. Henry G. Friesen and James Ashdown.

In 2007 there will be more cautious optimism. The indicators are all still positive and include jobs, consumer confidence, low interest rates, low inflation, increased new home starts and willing investors.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation is predicting an increase in resales through the MLS®.

CMHC also said the average sale price will increase another 8.5 per cent to $168,750.

The board will continue to provide members with cutting-edge technology and the most current, complete and correct data to provide consumers with the most professional service available.

It’s been a great ride, but unlike the Red River Ex it’s not over. Stay buckled- up!