As you may know, real estate is a very local subject. News of how Toronto or Vancouver markets are reacting to the pandemic is entertainment at best, but completely irrelevant. Unless you’re moving to those cities, what happens there has absolutely not effect on our own housing market.
So, how as Covid-19 affected our market? You might be surprised!
At this time of year, Winnipeg typically has around 1800-1900 houses available for sale. On July 1st 2020, that number was a historical low of 1232.
On August 1st, it dropped another 100!
Why are home sellers deciding against listing their homes this year? I believe that many feel the market may be negatively impacted by the pandemic. Perhaps they are afraid that buyers are holding off on making a purchase or moving decision.
That is simply not the case.
Let’s look at the ‘demand’ side of the equation: Buyer activity in Winnipeg‘s market.
During the month of July, 2020, 782 home buyers purchased a house in Winnipeg. That is an INCREASE of 20% over the same time period in 2019. The biggest increases occurred in the 250K+ range, with luxury homes, (those listed at over $500K) nearly doubling in sales.
Low Supply + High Demand = Bidding Wars
Anecdotally, I suspected something was up when my first house listing (in St James) in April received 15 offers and sold for $30K above asking price.
The next house, in North Kildonan, received 10 offers and sold for 23K above asking.
By en-large, home buyers in Winnipeg appear to be undeterred by the pandemic. Interest rates are at an all-time low, and home ownership is cheaper than renting. Unfortunately they are not finding as many homes on the market as last year. This has created a very hot sellers market, in nearly all price ranges up to around 400K. (Luxury Homes have always been a much slower market in Winnipeg. I don’t see that changing anytime soom)
Is it time to look at Condos again?
It seems to me that Condominiums have fallen out of favour in the past few years. The main reason is an over-abundance of available units, driving prices down. If you bought a brand new condo in 2014, you’ll be very lucky to get your money back if you tried to sell right now. (In one complex, townhouse condos which sold for over $300K are now being sold for $260-270K).
Today, however, with entry level houses going for huge bidding wars, it might be time for the first time buyer, young professional couple or down-sizers to take another look at condominiums. There are a number of reasons why a condo might be perfect for you:
- Get more for your money
- No bidding wars
- Carefree living
- Better security (freedom to travel)
So how has Covid-19 affected the market?
Bottom line is that the buyers are looking, but there are not enough listings to show them. So if you’re thinking of selling your current house (or condo) NOW is a perfect time to list your home, with a real estate agent, on the mls.
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