Strong MLS® housing market continued in February

The Winnipeg real estate market in February showed a continuation of last year’s remarkable performance with MLS® sales just edging out 2006 and dollar volume, setting another new record for this month.  

February’s 797 MLS® unit sales were only surpassed in 1997 when MLS® sales went over 800 units. In February 2006, there were 794 unit sales.

“Yet again the MLS® is operating at a high level of efficiency, resulting in 44 per cent of residential-detached properties selling for above list price and another 10 per cent selling at list price,” said Wes Schollenberg, president of the WinnipegREALTORS® Association.  

February MLS® dollar volume sales of $128 million was up 11 per cent  compared to $115 million during the same month in 2006.  

Year-to-date MLS® sales are ahead by one per cent with 1,352 units sold, while dollar volume is up 10 per cent with $211.3 million in sales.

Residential-detached sales in February were most active in the $160,000 to $199,999 price range which accounted for 20 per cent of total sales activity.  The two lower price ranges between $100,000 and $159,999 made up another 31 per cent in sales.  

The average days on the market for February 2007 was 27 days, eight days faster than last month and at the same pace as February 2006.

“To gain a better appreciation and understanding of current market conditions, consumers should seek out the professional advice and services of a REALTOR®,” added Schollenberg.

Resale housing activity in Canada’s major markets remained strong in February, according to statistics released by the Canadian Real Estate Association.

Seasonally-adjusted MLS® home sales in Canada’s major markets totaled 29,955 units in February 2007. This represents the second highest level for any month on record, and is just one per cent below the highest level on record reached in January 2007. 

“Recent mortgage interest rate cuts, together with a strong job market and rising incomes, will help to keep homebuyer sentiment upbeat,” said CREA chief economist Gregory Klump. 

“Resale housing activity in the first quarter is on course to set a new quarterly record,” he added. “With momentum for resale housing activity showing few signs of fatigue so far, the spring home buying season this year may be one for the record books.” 

The monthly decline in activity was the result of fewer transactions in Toronto, which more than offset higher activity in Vancouver, Victoria, Calgary and Saskatoon.

Seasonally-adjusted MLS® residential new listings totaled 46,323 units in February 2007 which was down 3.2 per cent from January. Listings edged lower in a number of markets, but monthly declines were largest in Vancouver and Toronto.

Fewer new listings caused the resale housing market to become tighter than at any other point since September 2005. The market remains tightest in Edmonton, Regina, Saskatoon, Calgary and Winnipeg.

The major market MLS® residential average price rose 10 per cent year-over-year to $311,101 in February 2007 to reach the highest monthly level on record. Average price reached new heights in a number of major markets including Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Hamilton-Burlington, London & St. Thomas, Ottawa, Quebec City and Saint John.

“We are now entering the most active time of the year for resale housing activity,” said CREA president Alan Tennant. “Strong activity levels in February 2007 indicate that REALTORS® across Canada will be kept very busy this spring, providing professional advice and services to both buyers and sellers.”