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Housing Prices Holding Steady in Rural Manitoba

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For the past few months we've been reading that the Winnipeg housing markets have been holding their value but is this true in rural Manitoba?This month I spoke to Karla Elcock of ReMax to find out what is happening, at least in Pinawa.Q.   "How is the demand for housing in Pinawa Karla? Are home prices increasing as compared to a year ago or is the market headed in a new direction?"A.   "Well, we keep waiting for something bad to happen because the American news channels warn of some kind of meltdown but it just isn't happening. Home prices in Pinawa are holding steady and I even have a waiting list."Q.   "A waiting list?"A.   "Yes. A waiting list of people who want a certain kind of home or people who want a residence in a particular price range."Q.   "Can we talk about price? What is the difference in home prices here compared to, say, 10 years ago?"A.   "Ten years ago people moved here for the really cheap homes that were being sold. They had also heard abbout our enhanced lifestyle, our recreational opportunities and the fact that we enjoy a very low crime rate. Ten years ago I sold a home in town for $55,000. About 4 years later that same home sold for $85,000 and this year it sold again for $95,000. Of course our school system is responsible for a lot of the demand. People hear about our smaller class sizes and the fact that our children enjoy a clearly superiour education. Only a few years ago a lot sold on Pinawa Landing for $29,900 because they have river views. This year that lot is worth $95,000."Q.   "Some people say that in this age of computers people will be able to move here and work right out of their homes. Is that happening here?"A.   "Yes, to some degree, but not as many as we'd hoped would do it. It is happening a lot in the United States but it is just beginning to catch on here. Canadians, I find, tend to be cautious people and we tend not to rush out and copy everything that is happening elsewhere. I think it just makes so much sense that sooner or later, it is bound to happen here in a big way."Q.   "So tell me, who is buying our homes?"A.   "The average person is 50 years old but 35 year old people are moving in also. I would say that buyers are mostly between 35 and 65 years of age."Q.   "Are people buying lots who plan to build on them later?"A.   "Yes, that happens all the time. Here is a familiar story we hear. People say they have a home in Winnipeg and a cottage in the Whiteshell. Then they realize that they can sell both, build in Pinawa, and enjoy the rural lifestyle in our beautifully planned town. If both the Winnipeg home and the cottage are debt free they walk away with a net profit of about half a million dollars."I invited all the realtors in Pinawa to the interview. Only Karla showed up. She was nervous but is a gutsy gal. For all she knew I might be unkind to her in print. So, I have decided that Karla deserves a small reward.Karla Elcock may be contacted at either of the following two addresses. Be sure to put her name in the subject line. E-Mail her                                                               -30-

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