Fewer house sales than normal mark city’s first month of year
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Fewer house sales than normal marked Winnipeg’s first month of 2023.
January saw 582 home sales, down 16 per cent from the previous year’s 690 and down 19 per cent from the five-year average of 715, according to new Winnipeg Regional Real Estate Board data.
“Some (potential homebuyers) are just sitting on the sidelines right now, waiting to see what happens,” said Akash Bedi, the board’s president.
The average residential detached home was cheaper last month than January 2022 — down eight per cent to $367,977 from $401,216 — but interest rates have skyrocketed.
In January 2022, the Bank of Canada’s key policy rate was 0.25 per cent. Now, the rate is 4.5 per cent. It affects people looking to obtain mortgages, and those with variable rate mortgages.
A higher cost of living has sidelined some who might have otherwise bought, said Blake Vasko, a Manitoba real estate agent.
Further, it can be more difficult qualifying for money from lenders, he added.
“Homes have been selling,” Vasko noted. “But, they’ve been sitting on the market longer.”
In the beginning of 2022, it wasn’t uncommon for a house to sell above asking price, drawing several offers. Now, it’s typical to wait two to four weeks to sell, and there could be price negotiations, Vasko said.
“We’ve kind of gone through this wacky period where real estate was in extreme demand,” he said of 2021 and 2022, adding the market has stabilized.
In January 2022, just 1,664 homes were available. The number of listings jumped 69 per cent over the year: last month had 2,811 homes on the market.
“There is still a shortage of available listings,” Bedi said, adding it’s better than before.
Some Manitobans are selling their houses because their mortgage rates have increased, Bedi said.
Over the past five years, January has seen an average 2,928 homes for sale.
Residential detached home listings have shot up 108 per cent this January compared to last — 1,296 to 622 — but are three per cent below the five-year average of 1,331.
Condo sales were down 27 per cent last month compared to the year prior, but inventory was up 21 per cent, to 372 units for sale.
The average condo cost $231,549 in January. That’s three per cent higher than the five-year average of $224,598. However, it’s lower than January of 2021, where a typical condo cost $251,629.
Homes under $250,000 were the most popular category last month, according to the WRREB.
The most expensive home purchase in January was $1.45 million. The cheapest was $30,000.
Gabby is a big fan of people, writing and learning. She graduated from Red River College’s Creative Communications program in the spring of 2020.