Monthly MLS® sales continue to shatter records

May has been a record-shattering month for MLS® sales and dollar volume.

The spike in MLS® activity even has WinnipegREALTORS® Association president Wes Schollenberg contemplating $2 billion in total sales for the first time in the association’s 104-year history.

“Winnipeggers and out-of-province buyers remain positive about real estate as an investment here and this obviously bodes well for our chances of reaching the $2 billion level in MLS® sales by the end of the year,” added Schollenberg.

MLS® sales not only surpassed the 1,500-unit mark for the first time, but sales shot up over 1,600 units.  

May dollar volume fell just shy of  $300 million. Only a year ago, the $200 million level was surpassed for the first time.  

To appreciate the rapid rise in dollar volume, consider that May’s total was more than twice that of May 2004.

The strength of the market was further exemplified by the sale of 55 per cent of all homes on MLS® at more than their list price. Another 10 per cent of MLS® listings sold at list price.

May MLS® sales went up 12 per cent to 1,652 units while dollar volume rose 29 per cent to $296.6 million when compared to the same month last year.  

Year-to-date sales were up 10 per cent to 5,392 units while dollar volume has increased 20 per cent to $897.5 million over the same period in 2006.  

Three out of every four listings entered on MLS® this year have sold.

Up to May, there have been 146 home sales this year at over $300,000 with one in Tuxedo selling for over $1.3 million. 

A recent report by Statistics Canada shows there has been a clear trend in Canada away from renting to homeownership during the past two decades. The report said about 70 per cent of Canadians in 2005 were homeowners.  

According to the report, the biggest shift toward homeownership has occurred in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, where housing markets have soared to unprecedented heights in recent years.

Schollenberg said what is happening in Winnipeg is a reflection of the real estate market’s growing strength across the Prairie Provinces.

For example, Calgary’s average home price in May was $487,523, a 17.2 per cent increase over 2006.  In Saskatoon, the average house price was up 44 per cent to $233,917 from the same month last year. Winnipeg’s average was up 16 per cent to $194,590.

“One development boosting the homeownership trend this year is that older homeowners are realizing the potential to reap a significant gain on their house value and therefore are opting to sell their house now as opposed to waiting to sell,” said Schollenberg.

The association president also said the market is being helped by low unemployment levels and low mortgage rates which have contributed to a high level of consumer confidence.

Residential-detached sales in May were most active in the $160,000 to $199,999 price range with 23 per cent of total sales activity. The next most active range was between $130,000 and $159,999 and accounted for 16 per cent of total sales.  

The under $100,000 price range continued its free fall in May, dropping its market share by five per cent when compared to the same month last year to only represent 13 per cent of total sales.  

Residential-detached  activity in Calgary during May showed there were no sales between $0 and $99,999 and none year-to-date, as well there were only two sales in May between $100,000 and $199,999 and just 18 for the entire year.

The average period a home in Winnipeg stayed on the market in May before being sold was 19 days — two days quicker than last month and one day off the pace set in May 2006.  

In comparison, the average period to sell a home in Calgary for May was 25 days and in Saskatoon it was 15 days.