Winnipeg homebuyers didn’t let last month’s unseasonably cold weather deter them as the local resale-homes market racked up its third best December on record for unit sales and its best ever in terms of dollar volume of sales.
The Winnipeg Realtors Association (WRA) said today that 633 homes were sold last month through the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS). That was an increase of three per cent from December of last year, when 615 properties changed hands.
However, the strong finish wasn’t enough to push sales for the year above the 13,000-unit plateau for the third consecutive year. The WRA said sales fell 74 units short, at 12,924, which was also down one per cent from 2012’s annual total of 13,007.
The association noted that while a nine per cent increase in listings and a record number of condominium sales helped to fuel the market in 2013, it wasn’t enough to overcome a 26 per cent drop in sales in March.
"A third consecutive year of 13,000 MLS sales was attainable, however, March proved to be the year’s Achilles heel," it said.
"While stricter mortgage regulations had a noticeable impact in moderating sales activity in the early half of 2013, home values increased year to year" said outgoing WRA president Richard Dettman. "The increased number of listings made for a much more balanced market between buyers and sellers. The outstanding December results emphasized this observation."
While unit sales for the year were down slightly, that didn’t stop the market from setting a dollar-volume record of $3.36 billion. It was the third year in a row that the dollar volume eclipsed the $3-billion mark, the association added.