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Slowdown in city's resale-homes market is gaining momentum

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The final September numbers confirm what the preliminary ones were indicating earlier in the week — the slowdown in Winnipeg’s resale-homes market is gaining momentum.

The Winnipeg Realtors Association (WRA) said today that Multiple Listing Service sales were down 14 per cent from a year earlier — 1,040 units versus 1,214.

It was the third consecutive month of weakening sales activity, after declines of four per cent in August and two per cent in July.

WRA president Shirley Przybyl said the slowdown in sales has been even more prolonged and more dramatic in other Canadian cities, and industry officials there have blamed it on the federal government lowering the amortization period for federally-insured mortgages to 25 years from 30 years in July.

That has squeezed some first-times buyers out of the market in those cities, she said, causing sales to weaken.

But she stopped short of saying that is what’s happening here, as well.

"We will watch this closely as the year winds down to see if Winnipeg is starting to experience the same trend."

The drop in sales also led to a 10 per cent decline in the dollar volume of sales in September — $251 million versus $278 million in September 2011.

murray.mcneill@freepress.mb.ca

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