Buyers have broken a Manitoba record by purchasing more homes last month than any November recorded by the Winnipeg Regional Real Estate Board.
"(2021) has become a year of milestones," said Peter Squire, the board’s vice-president of external relations and market intelligence.
A total 1,244 homes sold last month, up from the previous ceiling of 1,193 built in 2020. Every new house purchased adds to an annual record: in October, the province surpassed 2020’s final count of 16,033. This year’s tally was 17,650 by November’s end.
The pandemic kickstarted such demand, as interest rates were lowered to help keep the economy afloat.
Now, however, a number of factors are involved. Millennials have reached home-buying age, interest rates are still historically low, and the province is known for an affordability not offered by most in Canada, Squire said.
"If you look at our November, the cupboards are bare," he said. "There really are very few listings in a number of… our residential neighbourhoods."
Around 50 per cent of single-family homes are selling for above list price, meaning there are several potential customers, Squire said. Condominiums — about 15 per cent — are being fought over.
Pre-pandemic, Manitoba hadn’t exceeded 1,000 sales in November. This year has a 32 per cent sales gain over the past five Novembers.
But, there’s a 2.9 per cent drop in people putting their homes on the market, compared with the past five years. At the end of November, 2,252 listings were available.
Nearly $6 billion has changed hands so far this year. Manitoba’s listings elicited $4.9 billion in sales last year.
"(This) can’t go on forever," Squire said.
The Bank of Canada will likely increase interest rates in 2022 to combat inflation, which may trigger a market slowdown, he said. When that will be and what it will look like are yet to be determined.
"That’s another motivation for buyers that are thinking of looking at getting into the housing market," Squire said. "The opportunity may well be one they should consider now, instead of waiting until spring or later into 2022."
Squire expects homes sold this year to hit 18,000. The province was just 350 away by November’s end.
"(It’s) unheard of here," said Kourosh Doustshenas, the Winnipeg Regional Real Estate Board’s president.
Single-family residences passed the 12,000-sold threshold for the first time in the board’s 118-year history. Over 2,400 condos have been purchased so far (up 43 per cent from last year). Attached suites, like townhouses, are also up from last year — 1,300 from less than 1,000.
An average detached home costs $385,073, while an attached one is $334,149. The mean condo price is $242,879.
Each of the past three years has broken Manitoba housing sale records. Last time a stretch this long occurred, it was 2005 through 2007. That final year marked the province’s first time exceeding $2 billion in sales.
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