Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Homes market still hot in city

A solid foundation

  • Print

Winnipeg's housing market barely skipped a beat in 2012, with MLS sales topping the 13,000-unit threshold for only the third time in more than a century and new-home construction activity running way ahead of last year's pace.

Year-end numbers released Monday by the Winnipeg Realtors Association show 13,007 properties sold last year through the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS).

That's a dip of less than one per cent -- 58 properties -- from the 13,065 that changed hands in 2011. It was also only 71 units shy of the all-time record of 13,078 set in 2007.

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. will be releasing Winnipeg's year-end housing-start numbers on Wednesday, and they're expected to show a double-digit increase over 2011's total of 3,331.

"To finish as well as we did, given tighter mortgage regulations and regular national media calls for softer real estate markets, it is testimony to the resiliency of the greater Winnipeg real estate market and our Manitoba economy in general," said Shirley Przybyl, outgoing president of Winnipeg Realtors.

"Winnipeg just kind of goes to its own beat," added Peter Squire, the association's residential-market analyst. "It just delivered another really solid year. Sort of like a blue-chip stock."

The month of December turned out to be the difference-maker between 2011 and 2012. Sales had been running slightly ahead of 2011's pace after the first 11 months of 2012, but the association knew it would have a tough time matching December 2011's record-shattering performance, when 698 properties changed hands.

It turns out sales did fall well short of that mark, with 615 properties sold. While that was a 12 per cent decline from a year earlier, it was still five per cent better than the 10-year average for December.

Przybyl noted that even though unit sales for 2012 were down slightly from a year earlier, the association still set a record for dollar volume of sales in a single year, at $3.2 billion. That was a five per cent improvement over the previous record of $3.06 billion set in 2011 and marked only the second time in the association's history the dollar volume topped the $3-billion mark.

The resale market's strong performance in 2012 didn't come as a surprise to local housing-market analysts such as Squire and CMHC's Dianne Himbeault. They both predicted at the start of last year Winnipeg could even see a slight increase in unit sales, because many of the factors that have been fuelling the demand for homes in recent years -- such as a healthy local economy, high employment levels, a growing population and historically low interest rates -- would still be at play in 2012.

While Squire won't be releasing his 2013 forecast until next week, Himbeault said CMHC is predicting it will be another banner year for MLS sales in the greater Winnipeg area.

"We seem to have plateaued (at about 13,000 sales)," she said Monday. "(So) our forecast is for it to continue at these levels (in 2013)."

Przybyl and Squire said one of the highlights of 2012 had to be the strong demand for higher-priced homes. Although the biggest demand continues to be for homes in the $200,000 to $300,000 price range, sales of upper-end properties -- ones priced at half a million dollars or more -- also reached new heights in 2012.

The association said more than 400 of them changed hands in 2012, including a record 24 that sold for $1 million or more. There were even two that sold for $2 million or more -- a Wellington Crescent mansion that sold in November for $2 million and a mansion on Hansard Boulevard that sold last month for $2.2 million.

"To me, that speaks of confidence in the city as a whole when you see people spending those kinds of dollars in the local housing market," Squire said.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 8, 2013 B3

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


Key of Bart - Four Little Games

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Bright sunflowers lift their heads toward the south east skies in a  large sunflower field on Hwy 206 and #1 Thursday Standup photo. July 31,  2012 (Ruth Bonneville/Winnipeg Free Press)
  • JOE BRYKSA/WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Local- A large osprey lands in it's nest in a hydro pole on Hyw 59  near the Hillside Beach turnoff turn off. Osprey a large narrow winged hawk which can have a wingspan of over 54 inches are making a incredible recovery since pesticide use of the 1950's and  1960's- For the last two decades these fish hawks have been reappearing in the Lake Winnipeg area- Aug 03, 2005

View More Gallery Photos


Are you concerned about the number of homicides so far this year?

View Results

Ads by Google