THE weather wasn't the only thing that was hot in July -- the local resale-homes market was also cooking.

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This article was published 8/8/2011 (3814 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

THE weather wasn't the only thing that was hot in July -- the local resale-homes market was also cooking.

A total of 1,246 homes were sold last month through the WinnipegRealtors' Multiple Listing Service (MLS), according to data released Monday by the association.

That left it tied with July 2007 as the third-best July on record for home sales through the local MLS, the association said. The only years with better July numbers were 2008 (more than 1,400) and 2009 (more than 1,300).

Last month was also the best July in the association's 108-year history for dollar volume of sales. That jumped by 10 per cent to $1.84 billion, thanks to sales activity and a seven-per-cent hike in the average price for a detached, single-family home.

Shirley Przybyl, president-elect of WinnipegRealtors, said the strong demand for resale homes is a reflection of the ongoing confidence Winnipeggers have in the local housing market.

"And I think Winnipeg's prices are still very affordable," Przybyl added.

Peter Squire, the association's residential market analyst, said the recent stock-market meltdown could throw even more fuel on the fire.

"It's got to make you think, 'Where can I place my money that's a safer haven?' " he said, and for some, real estate might be the answer.

"Certainly the Winnipeg (housing) market has been very steady and solid for a number of years," he said. "We've never seen these big swings the stock markets have seen or some other real estate markets in Canada have seen."

While prices here remain more affordable than in many other Canadian cities, Squire said years of double-digit increases are forcing a growing number of people, particularly first-time buyers, to look at condominiums and attached homes.

The association said the spread between the year-to-date average selling price for a detached home -- $256,000 -- and the year-to-date average price for a condo or an attached home -- such as a side-by-side or townhouse -- is now $54,000 and $63,000, respectively.

Squire said while that "flight to affordability" has been building for several years, it's really taking hold this year. Association figures show condo sales up 23 per cent in July, while sales of attached homes were up by an "astounding" 76 per cent.

Condo sales were 10 per cent higher than last year in the first seven months of 2011, and sales of attached homes were up 16 per cent.

Sales of detached homes were up by one per cent in July and by three per cent year to date.

murray.mcneill@freepress.mb.ca