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WRA says home sales down 3 per cent in February

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Last month’s deep freeze cast a chill over Winnipeg’s resale homes market, with sales down almost three per cent from a year earlier and eight per cent below the 10-year average for February.

In its monthly market report released today, the Winnipeg Realtors Association (WRA) said 680 properties changed hands through the local Multiple Listing Service. That was down from 698 in February of last year.

The dollar volume of sales also took a bit of a hit, falling by less than two per cent to $175.7 million from $178.7 million.

"(It’s) far too early to get overly concerned with a market that is well poised and in a position to do better as we move into an early spring market," said WRA president David Powell said in a written statement.

"Besides expecting warmer weather in March to get people out of their winter mode, I would also like to see a signal in this week’s provincial budget to give Manitobans more confidence in investing here," Powell added. "First-time buyers in particular would welcome some relief from Manitoba’s very onerous land transfer tax as they are now faced with higher CMHC insurance premiums."

The good news for buyers is that with less sales activity, the number of active listings on the market is up nearly 10 per cent from a year ago, to 2,549.

"Buyers are now in a more favourable position to get what they want and have moer time to do it," the assocition said.

With February’s weaker numbers, unit sales were running five per cent behind last years pace after the first two months of 2014 — 1,245 versus 1,312 — and the dollar volume of sales was down one per cent to $321.7 million from $325.7 million.

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