MARCH MLS® SALES UP 5%
WINNIPEG - In March, 1,111 MLS® listed properties sold in the Greater Winnipeg market region, which is an increase of 5% over March 2016 and 8% over the 10-year average for this month. Dollar volume rose 10% to $326 million. This is the first time in March there has been over $300 million in MLS® sales transactions.
MLS® listings entered in March were right in line with last year at 2,200 though active listings or inventory of 3,903 listings going into Aprilis down9% from 2016. This is largely due to a very active 2016 which left less listings carrying over into 2017.
Due to a good result in March where sales start to accelerate and are significantly higher than either of the first two months of the year, first quarter sales of 2,438 are in line with last year and 5% ahead of the 10-year average for the first three months. Dollar volume of close to $700 million is at its highest level ever for the first quarter and up over 4% from the same period in 2016.
“Overall we are quite pleased with the MLS® first quarter sales results since they are only a few sales shy of last year’s same period total and we ended up recording our best year ever in 2016,” said Blair Sonnichsen, president of WinnipegREALTORS®. “The second quarter by far is our busiest and one we count on to put us in a good position to deliver solid year end numbers. The consistency and steadiness of our MLS® market over the past few years bodes well for strong sales numbers to continue.”
“Helping give us more confidence going into the second quarter are Manitoba’s employment numbers,” said Peter Squire, MLS® market analyst. “The recently released Statistics Canada labour force survey shows Manitoba’s March employment went up 2,800 jobs and the unemployment rate decreased 0.3 percentage points to 5.5 %. Only B.C. has a lower rate at 5.4%.”
Looking more closely at single family home sales in the first quarter in comparison to the same period in 2016 they are down less than 2% while condominiums are on a record setting pace with an increase of 18%. Condos may well be benefiting from their lower price point in comparison to single family homes as anyone requiring an insured mortgage with less than 20 per cent down must qualify for the higher Bank of Canada 4.64 % 5-year term rate.
“Condos are leading the way so far in marked sales increases compared to the first quarter in 2016,” said Sonnichsen. “They have captured an additional 3 percentage points of total MLS® market share at the expense of single family or residential-detached sales”.
Another point worth noting with regard to March specifically is explaining why the average residential-detached selling price was just under $320,000, noticeably higher than the 2016 year- end average of $302,707. It was the result of what is called a compositional shift in sales activity where March had a real overweight in higher priced sales. For example, there was a 25% increase in sales over $350,000 and above compared to March 2016.
If you take the median price (mid-point of all sales) of residential-detached homes in March 2017 there is a far closer alignment to March 2016 - $285,500 versus $284,000.
For the first three months this year the average residential-detached selling price is $307,977, a 2.4% increase over the same period in 2016. As for condominiums, the average selling price for the first quarter is $244,406, a 7.9% increase over first quarter 2016.
Residential-detached unit sales in March were more spread out amongst a number of price ranges with the highest at 18% of total sales from $250,000-$299,999 and the $200,000-$249,999 at 15%. A close third at 14% was from $350,000-$400,000.
March condominium unit sales at nearly one in four sales were from $150,000-$199,999 however there were a number of price ranges with sales activity in the teens. Amongst them, the $250,000-$299,999 was highest at 18%.
All markets are local and vary within a specific market region. To understand what is happening with your property type, price range and area of city or outside Winnipeg, call a REALTOR® to provide you with their expert advice and knowledge.