Good news if you’re a seller.

Good news if you’re a seller.

Residential sales prices in Winnipeg are anticipated to increase by 3.5 per cent in 2022, bringing the average price estimate for next year to $322,860, according to Re/Max’s Canadian housing market outlook. That’s up from $287,000 in 2020, and the rising prices are part of a national trend of seller’s markets popping up, even in historically balanced Winnipeg: Canada wide, prices are expected to increase by 9.2 per cent.

"2021 has been an absolutely extraordinary year when it comes to real estate sales across the country," said Elton Ash, the executive vice-president of Re/Max Canada. "I’ve been in the business for 41 years, and it’s the first time outside of 1981’s economic crash that we have seen the entire country experience the same kind of market conditions at once. There are inventory shortages across the board, along with very strong demand."

"I guess it goes hand in hand with the historic pandemic we’re in," he added. "The market across the country has really coalesced."

Elsewhere in Western Canada, the price increase is projected to be sharper than Winnipeg: Nanaimo and Kelowna will experience increases of nine and eight per cent (though their average sales prices are in the $600,000 and $800,000 range), with Edmonton’s average growing by seven per cent. Regina (3.5 per cent, $334,000) and Calgary (2.5, $506,000) are closer to Winnipeg’s projections.

And, it doesn’t appear price increases will sap demand in Winnipeg: the Re/Max report anticipates the number of sales to increase by seven per cent in 2022.

Ontario, meanwhile, will experience an average 10 per cent increase across 16 regions, paced by Burlington, where home prices are set to be over $1.2 million on average, and Hamilton, where prices will climb from $784,000 to $909,000.

Ash said the market is cyclical, and at the moment, the cycles in different regions are all somewhat synchronized. At least through 2022, that’s expected to continue, he said, but there will be some interesting developments in the new year following the annual Christmastime lull.

In the spring, the Bank of Canada is anticipated to increase one measure that has contributed in large part to high demand: interest rates.

Since local markets, including Winnipeg, began to set sales records in the spring and summer of 2020, historically low interest rates have been identified as a major reason why the market was so competitive. This coming spring, Ash said, the bank is expected to "tap the pedal a few times" with small increases, which might alter the normal spring sales conditions as buyers look to take advantage of lower rates before the switch.

"Winnipeg will likely experience an earlier spring market than it has in the past," Ash said, sounding like a groundhog.

At the same time, Ash cautions buyers and sellers to consider their needs and not make rash decisions based on market conditions and pressures.

"Be cautious, be smart and conservative," he said. "I sound like I’m talking to my children."

ben.waldman@winnipegfreepress.com