September home sales down from last year, so are average prices – Winnipeg Free Press

Gone are the days of bidding wars on most Winnipeg houses — for now, anyways.

“We’re certainly getting close to a balanced market,” said Peter Squire, the Winnipeg Regional Real Estate Board’s vice-president of market intelligence.

Housing sales in September decreased year over year, while the number of listings increased. The average single family home in Manitoba cost less this summer than in the spring, though prices are still higher than last year.

Last quarter, the median single family home price was $391,802 — down from April through June’s $442,134 average, but nearly $20,000 more than last year’s $374,810 average for July through September.

“We’ve seen quite a fallback from our peak (in May 2022),” Squire said.

Don’t expect such a drop in prices in the coming months, he added.

“I’m not saying it can’t come down further, but (it won’t be) anywhere near the same extent,” he said.

September’s 1,205 sales were a 20 per cent decrease from the number of sales a year earlier, according to a Winnipeg Regional Real Estate Board report released Thursday. It’s also a drop of 32 per cent from September 2020’s sales, and 11 per cent lower than the five-year average.

“Between the rising inflation and the cost of living in general and those higher interest rates… (it’s) put buyers on hold,” Squire said. “Some are more in that ‘wait and see’ position.”

An influx of listings is helping ease demand. There were around 4,000 active listings Thursday, veering Manitoba’s market from favouring sellers to a more balanced position, Squire said.

Robin Uy signed his apartment’s lease for another year. He opted not to house hunt for his family because of the rising interest rates — the Bank of Canada’s key rate is now 3.25 per cent — and current house prices.

“Those two together are a very big stumbling block for someone who would want to purchase a house,” Uy said.

The higher cost of living has made a mortgage more undesirable, he noted. He’d like to see interest rates and house prices “cool down.”

“If something changes (next year), we definitely will consider (buying),” he said. “If it’s basically the same, we might just renew and wait.”

The condominium listing to sale rate is, for the first time, matching the single family home rate, according to the Winnipeg Regional Real Estate Board.

Both have a conversion rate of 70 per cent this year.

The average condo cost $268,432 last quarter, a slight bump from spring’s mean $267,159. In 2021’s third quarter, the average price was $243,734.

By the end of September, $4.57 billion in housing sales had gone through Manitoba’s MLS system. It’s a 10 per cent decrease from the same time period last year.

Gabrielle Piché

Gabby is a big fan of people, writing and learning. She graduated from Red River College’s Creative Communications program in the spring of 2020.