Association predicts housing sales increase for Manitoba

National MLS® home sales activity will remain high this year and in 2008, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association.

In Manitoba, CREA forecasts a 0.9 per cent increase in MLS® home sales for 2007 and a slight drop by 2.2 per cent for 2008.

The only other province predicted to have a 2007 increase is Saskatchewan. The increase in the neighbouring province is forecast to be 1.9 per cent followed by a 1.6 per cent decrease in 2008.

“The leading real estate indicators remain positive — low unemployment numbers and low mortgage rates,” said WinnipegREALTORS® Association president Wes Schollenberg.

“An indication of the continuing strength of the local MLS® market is the fact that 35 per cent of the residential-detached properties that sold in January sold for above list price,” added Schollenberg. “MLS® activity last month came out ahead of January 2006.”

National sales activity is forecast to ease slightly this year but remain above 450,000, which is near the strongest levels on record. 

“Mortgage rates are low and will stay that way,” said CREA chief economist Gregory Klump. “Employment is high and will continue to rise. Consumer sentiment is upbeat.  Incomes are rising. 

“The combination of those factors will keep the housing market on a strong footing over the next couple of years,” he added.

In Manitoba, MLS® home sales are predicted to hit 13,140 units by the end of 2007. In 2006, there was a total of 13,018 MLS® sales. Most of the province’s 2006 sales occurred in Winnipeg, which finished the year with 9,337 residential-detached sales.

The national MLS® residential average price is forecast to rise modestly over the next two years.  Resale housing markets will become more balanced in all provinces, but will remain tighter in Western provinces where annual price increases will be the largest.

“Annual price increases will generally be smaller than last year in all provinces,” added Klump. 

In Manitoba, the prediction is for an average residential price of $164,500 this year, which would be a 9.5 per cent increase over the 2006 average price of $150,229.

The average price in 2008 is expected to rise by 7.7 per cent in Manitoba to $177,100.

“Your REALTOR® is the best person to look to for help in marketing the features of your property, and for accurate pricing within your local real estate market,” said CREA president Alan Tennant. “A home is one of your greatest financial assets, so using the professional services provided by a REALTOR® provides both buyers and sellers with the expertise and information they need to make the right decisions.”

Other predictions:

• Ontario average price $289,500 in 2007; $298,500 in 2008.

• Alberta average price $329,800 in 2007; $353,700 in 2008.

• British Columbia average price $427,800 in 2007; $454,000 in 2008.

• Saskatchewan average price $142,900 in 2007; $152,200 in 2008.