Winnipeg sees document month for actual property gross sales amid pandemic

Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Winnipeg experienced a record month for real estate sales throughout July.

According to a news release from WinnipegREALTORS, multiple listing service (MLS) sales for July reached 1,898, which is ever so slightly up from 1,897 in June. The previous record month was 1,705 sales in May 2019.

Compared to July 2019, last month’s sales were up by 32 per cent and dollar volume – which reached $596.1 million — was up 36 per cent.

WinnipegREALTORS reported year-to-date, the city has seen MLS sales of 8,672, which is five per cent ahead of the same period last year.

Catherine Schellenberg, president of WinnipegREALTORS, said in the news release that Winnipeg is seeing a different market this year.

“While WinnipegREALTORS forecasted another strong year following a successful 2019 with an expanded rural area, we did not expect such a significant recovery from the drop off in April and May sales activity due to the economic shutdown,” she said.

While real estate sales have seen a significant recovery since the start of the pandemic, the same cannot be said for listings, which has a larger deficit to recover from.

In July 2020, the number of new listings entered into the MLS was down by nine per cent compared to the same time last year, and down 10.9 per cent year-to-date.

According to WinnipegREALTORS, at the beginning of August Winnipeg’s real estate inventory was at 4,408, which is a 27 per cent decrease from 2019 and a 15 per cent decrease from the five-year average for this time of year.

Due to the deficit in listings, over 31 per cent of single-family detached homes sold for over the list price in July.

“Less inventory suggests sellers have been reluctant to participate in our real estate market as opposed to buyers, which has created inventory shortages in a number of MLS areas,” Schellenberg said.

“This market change has resulted in multiple offer situations.”

Another first for the Winnipeg real estate market was a shift in the most active price range.

WinnipegREALTORS reported the most active price range moved to $300,000 to $349,000, with nearly 18 per cent of total sales. This replaced the $250,000 to $299,999 price range, which had a 15.5 per cent share of all sales.

“Our local market continues to show a strong recovery with buyers taking advantage of historically low interest rates and some of the most affordable house prices in the country,” Schellenberg said.

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