Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Crescentwood fixer-upper attracts unprecedented 72 offers

Officials say that's exceptional, despite hot market

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THE competition for starter homes in Winnipeg's property-starved resale-homes market soared to unprecedented heights this week when a Crescentwood "fixer-upper" drew a mind-boggling 72 offers.

Not only that, the 1,250-square-foot, 1 1/2-storey home sold for $80,000 more than the listed price of $139,900.

Listing agent Joe Pereira, of Coldwell Banker, said he expected to get five or six offers for the three-bedroom property because of the area it is in.

"But not anywhere near that number," he said.

"It's a poor-condition home that needs at least $50,000 (in upgrades) just to bring it to livable standards."

Other industry officials said Thursday they, too, were shocked at the number of bids received.

But they insisted it's an extreme case that doesn't accurately reflect current market conditions. The market is hot, but not that hot.

John Froese, a broker with Royal LePage Prime Real Estate, said the demand for homes priced at under $300,000 continues to far outpace the supply of available properties.

So multiple offers and above-list selling prices have become routine in that price range, he said.

But nothing like in the Warsaw Avenue case.

"Seven or eight (offers) would be pretty typical. We've even had cases (this year) of up to 30," Froese said. "But that (72) is exceptional." WinnipegRealtors Association president Shirley Pryzbyl and Peter Squire, the association's residential-market analyst, also described it as a unique situation.

"It may have been the case where the house, given the area it's in, maybe should have been listed at a higher price," Squire said. "That may be what caused all the stir (among prospective buyers)."

He noted a 660-square-foot home next door to the one on Warsaw recently sold for $248,000.

Pereira said he listed it at that price because the house needs new wiring and a top-to-bottom cosmetic makeover. It also has an unfinished basement and the garage is falling over and will have to be removed.

"Our goal was not to make the record book," he added. "It was to get fair market value for the homeowners."

Two new reports released Thursday also show Winnipeg's red-hot resale homes market is showing no sign of cooling down.

The WinnipegRealtors Association issued the March MLS (Multiple Listing Service) numbers for last month, and they showed it was the second-best March on record for unit sales and dollar volume of sales. Both were down only four per cent from the records set last year -- 1,138 properties versus 1,186 and $264.8 million versus $274.9 million.

Royal LePage also released the results of its latest national house-prices survey.

It showed average selling prices for all types of resale homes in Winnipeg continued to climb at a strong pace in the first quarter of this year.

The real estate firm said the average selling price of a standard condo in the city jumped by 11 per cent from a year earlier, climbing to $186,143. And in the northeast area of the city, the increase was an eye-popping 21.7 per cent.

Detached bungalows saw the second-biggest year-over-year price hike, climbing by 5.2 per cent to $283,375. And standard two-storey homes brought up the rear, rising by 4.1 per cent to $309,250.

The escalation in selling prices here was part of a national trend that saw strong price appreciation in most major cites in Canada during the first three months of 2012.

Canada saw average price increases ranging from 2.2 per cent for condos to five per cent for two-storey homes.

Squire and Pryzbyl noted last month was the first time in many months the dollar volume of sales didn't set a new monthly record and where the increase in dollar volume wasn't markedly higher than the increase in unit sales.

"Maybe that's a sign of a little bit of relief for buyers," Pryzbyl said.

Squire also said there were 200 more residential-detached homes on the market at the start of this month than there was at the beginning of March.

And that, too, is good news for buyers.

He and Pryzbyl also noted while 45 per cent of homes sold for more than the listed price last month, 55 per cent sold for either list or less than list.


HERE is a breakdown of average selling prices in the first quarter of this year, with the percentage increase over the previous year in brackets:


CHARLESWOOD / $274,000 (3.8) / $312,000 (3.0) / $181,000 (11.0)

RIVER HEIGHTS / $286,000 (4.0) / $325,000 (3.2) / $185,000 (15.6)

SOUTHDALE / $276,000 (4.5)  /  $286,000 (9.2)  / N/A

WESTWOOD /  $272,000 (6.3) / $305,000 (5.9) / $170,000 (14.9)

NORTHWEST / $282,000 (6.4) / $304,000 (0.3) / $210,000 (0.0)

NORTHEAST / $286,000 (5.9) / $300,000 (1.7) / $168,000 (21.7)

SOUTH ST. VITAL / $295,000 (5.4) / $327,000 (5.8) / $200,000 (17.6)

FT. RICHMOND / $296,000 (5.7) / $315,000 (4.3) / $189,000 (3.3)


-- source: Royal LePage Real Estate Services

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 7, 2012 B4

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