Home buyer “enthusiasm” returning to real estate market

Low interest rates and a good selection of affordable housing contributed to strong MLS® sales in June, according to WinnipegREALTORS®.

WinnipegREALTORS® president Deborah Goodfellow said the improved sales figures marked a return to home buyer “enthusiasm” in the local housing market.

According to WinnipegREALTORS®, last month was the third best June for MLS® sales and the second best for dollar volume sales. June’s sales and dollar volume were only eclipsed by figures recorded for the month in 2007 and 2008, but only by less than five per cent.

“June resulted in one of Winnipeg’s best real estate months ever and that in part was due to consumers regaining their enthusiasm for Winnipeg real estate opportunities,” said Goodfellow.

“Our house prices remain affordable, especially in this low-interest rate environment and with a better supply of listings available than was the case over the last few years.”

June this year was only the third time in the 106-year history of WinnipegREALTORS® when dollar volume exceeded $300 million — only May and June 2008 had a higher total.

The June dollar volume total of $311 million was helped this year by the sale of three $1-million-plus home sales.

Overall MLS® inventory by the end of June was up 22 per cent, yet conversions of listings to sales still substantially improved as shown by the number of days properties were on the market. On average in June, it took only 25 days to complete a residential-detached home sale, compared to 40 days in January this year. 

This conversion ratio is significantly better than many other Canadian centres. For example, in Edmonton, which had its best June ever on record for sales, the average days on the market dropped to 49 from 60 days earlier this year.

The average days on the market pace was two days quicker than May this year and just six days off the exceptional pace set in June 2008.

WinnipegREALTORS® reported there were over 9,700 listings on the market by the end of June, indicating the availability of a good selection of properties for potential home buyers.

In June, MLS® sales reached 1,490 units, which was less than a five-per-cent decline when compared to the same month last year. Dollar volume fell less than two per cent to $311.2 million.

At 26 per cent of sales, the most active price range in June was between $150,000 and $199,999, followed by the $200,000 to $249,999 price range with 21 per cent of all sales.

Year-to-date MLS® sales declined 10 per cent to 6,096 units, while dollar volume declined seven per cent to $1.4 billion in comparison to the first half of 2008.