Tight market supply for Metro Winnipeg continues into 2021

by Brenda Fehr on 01 Mar 2021

The real estate landscape in early 2021 is already showing some similarities to last year, according to a January market release by the Winnipeg Regional Real Estate Board (WRREB).

“As we enter 2021, the same tight market supply conditions experienced last year remain firmly entrenched,” board president Kourosh Doustshenas said in a release.

Market conditions to start the year come on the heels of a record-setting sales year in 2020.

The board’s January 2021 release noted that this year began with brisk MLS sales and listings still in short supply. There were 934 sales recorded on the MLS in January, increasing by 28%, and the dollar volume was up by 38% year-over-year to over $285 million.

The average price of a detached home in the Winnipeg region was $352,185 last month, while the average attached home was $277,109, and condominiums were $224,338.

Long-time Winnipeg real estate agent Debra Ann Kaminsky has seen the high demand for homes firsthand. There are not enough homes on the market for buyers, and with high demand it’s led to a seller’s market, she says, adding that low interest rates are a key factor in the market right now.

“In my 35 years as a licensed real estate agent, I’ve never seen interest rates so low,” said Kaminsky. “This is one of the reasons we are seeing a buying frenzy out there and multiple offers on homes.”

COVID-19 has also been a factor, with buyers wanting more square footage than ever before, as their homes have become more of a focal point for self-care and nurturing connections with family, Kaminsky says.

Mortgage prequalification has also put buyers in an advantageous position to lock in a low interest rate when submitting their offers, she added.

Peter Squire, vice-president, external relations and market intelligence for the WRREB, says the market has become no stranger to people reevaluating whether their homes meet their needs, with working from home, home schooling, and home gyms top of mind.

However, the spring market will be the real telltale sign of how the second half of 2021 unfolds.

Extensive COVID-19 safety measures remain in place, although tools like virtual showings and e-signatures have proven helpful. Last year, the existing option of 20 photos in a listing on the WRREB-operated MLS was increased to up to 50, and although not introduced specifically because of COVID-19, the development is an added tool.

Moving through the remainder of the year, Doustshenas’s comments reflect optimism.

“One month does not make a year, but January is certainly a sign that buyers are eager to take advantage of historic-low mortgage rates and some of the most affordable house prices in the country,” said Doustshenas.

“Strong demand so early in the year should give those looking to list their property confidence to begin planning now to have a successful outcome in 2021.”

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