For the first time January sales crack the $100-million barrier

Weaker housing sales in January resulted from a shortage of MLS® listings in sought-after neighbourhoods, according to WinnipegREALTORS®.
But despite MLS® sales in January being below 500 units for the first time in six years, dollar volume surpassed the $100 million barrier, establishing a new record for the month. Helping raise the dollar volume total was the sale of a $1.08-million home.
Dollar volume sales jumped six per cent when compared to January 2009, while unit sales dropped seven per cent.
With a lack of listings, the strong demand resulted in 35 per cent of homes selling above list price, according to WinnipegREALTORS®, which was twice the percentage recorded for January 2009. 
Fewer listings also had an effect on the average residential-detached home price, which jumped 17 per cent in January over the same month in 2009. January’s average price this year was two per cent higher than December 2009, which was the best on record for the month. By the end of December last year, the average sale price stood at $217,000.
“It was a somewhat disappointing sales result in January,” said WinnipegREALTORS® president Claude Davis, “but there are signs based on other indications that market conditions will improve once more listings come on stream.
“You might say it is still too early in the game to get overly concerned,” he added. “The next few months will show more of a trend on how the MLS® market will perform this year.”
Davis said low interest rates and strong employment  figures are helping the entire housing market and contributing to a very affordable market in Winnipeg and the surrounding municipalities.
He said more listings will be entered on MLS® when consumers take advantage of the lower rates. 
“If someone is looking to build or buy a new home that is significantly higher than the average MLS® resale price for a resale home,” said Davis, “they will be relying upon selling their existing home.
“Their move to a new home triggers the release of an existing home onto the market, setting the stage for another home listing.”
At a recent Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce luncheon, Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney didn’t hint at an interest hike anytime soon, as a result favourable mortgage financing terms will continue to be in place for months to come. 
The most active residential-detached home price ranges for January were between $150,000 and $199,999 and between $200,000 and $249,999, which accounted for 21 and 22 per cent of all sales, respectively.
The $250,000 to $299,999 price range averaged the lowest number of days on the market at just 24. The overall average for January was 32 days, which was three days quicker than the previous month and 10 days quicker than January 2009.