Annual MLS® Sales Fall Shy of 13,000 Benchmark Level
WINNIPEG – While 2013 will go down in WinnipegREALTORS® MLS® sales history as the fourth best year on record at 12,926 sales, it is still disappointing to see sales miss the 13,000 benchmark level set in 2007 and then again in 2011 and 2012.
A third consecutive year of 13,000 MLS® sales was attainable however March proved to be the year’s Achilles heel. What was so demonstrably clear is how much more the first-time homebuyer market struggled that month in comparison to the move-up market. With a more robust first-time homebuyer market in March, 74 sales could easily have been achieved to reach once again the annual 13,000 MLS® sales level.
It was noted back then the drop off in buyer activity was three times greater in the lower first-time homebuyer price ranges than in the higher move-up ones. At the same time WinnipegREALTORS® received a very conclusive response from its REALTOR® members indicating how they are having more difficulty finding homes for first-time buyers which they can afford.
“While stricter mortgage regulations had a noticeable impact in moderating sales activity in the early half of 2013, home values increased year to year” said outgoing president Richard Dettman, “The increased number of listings made for a much more balanced market between buyers and sellers. The outstanding December results emphasized this observation.”
MLS® dollar volume continues to go higher as both December and the year end result set new records. December’s third best sales result for this month translated into a record dollar volume of $183 million and the 2013 MLS® dollar volume made it three years in a row of over $3 billion worth of sales activity. It eclipsed $3.3 billion by year-end.
December MLS® unit sales increased 3% (633/615) while dollar volume shot up 17% ($182.7 million/$156.2 million) in comparison to the same month last year. 2013 MLS® unit sales were down less than 1% (12,924/13,007) while dollar volume increased 5% ($3.36 billion/ $3.20 billion) in comparison to 2012. The 20,452 listings entered on the MLS® in 2013 was up 9% over 2012 and an impressive 18% increase over the 10-year average.
“2013 saw more balanced market conditions given the much better inventory compared to prior years,” said Dettman. “A telling statistic to back this point up is the ratio of total sales price volume to total list price volume. The ratio hovered right at 100%.”
A clear standout this year by any measure and a defining statement on a quest for more affordable accommodations was the spectacular performance of condominium sales. They became the default if you will for some disenfranchised single family home seekers and of course benefited as they have been in recent years to a growing appetite for an alternative lifestyle to a traditional home.
Condominium sales saw increases in the double digits most months and finished the year up 13%. The 1,759 condo sales in 2013 are an all- time best for WinnipegREALTORS®. In contrast the 9,248 residential-detached sales fell short of last year’s total by 2%. Residential-detached properties still made up 72% of total MLS® market share with condos close to 14%. Vacant land sales were third highest at nearly 5% of total MLS® unit sales.
The most active residential-detached price range in 2013 was the $250,000 to $299,999 one with 22% of total sales activity. Close behind was the $200,000 to $249,999 price range at 18%. It is also worth noting more upper end market activity occurred in 2013. There was a 20% increase in residential-detached sales activity over $400,000 in comparison to 2012 and the same 20% gain for house sales over $500,000.
The average days on market for residential-detached sales in 2013 was 28 days, the same time on market as in 2012. 2013 had a home sell for $2,200,000. It equals the highest MLS® residential-detached sale price based on one that sold last year for this amount.
The most active condominium price range by a good margin in 2013 was the $150,000 to $199,999 one at 32%. On the other hand, much higher priced condominium sales did very well with 33 sales over $500,000 in comparison to 13 in 2012. It includes five condominium sales for over $1 million. Only two previously had been sold on MLS® at this price level.
The average days on market for condominium sales was 34 days, identical to the 2012 result.
More detail on 2013 and what lies ahead for 2014 will be well covered off at WinnipegREALTORS® annual forecast breakfast set for Wednesday, January 22nd.
Established in 1903, WinnipegREALTORS® is a professional association representing over 1,800 real estate brokers, salespeople, appraisers, and financial members active in the Greater Winnipeg Area real estate market. Its REALTOR® members adhere to a strict code of ethics and share a state-of-the-art Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) designed exclusively for REALTORS®. WinnipegREALTORS® serves its members by promoting the benefits of an organized real estate profession. REALTOR®, MLS® and Multiple Listing Service® are trademarks owned and controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association and are used under licence.
For further information, contact Peter Squire at 786-8854.