March 2018 MLS Statistics

A slow start to the first quarter

WINNIPEG – Sales in March resulted in a slower first quarter especially in comparison to the two best years on record in 2016 and 2017. Sales of 2,228 are down over 8% from the first 3 months in 2017, and 4% over the 10-year average. March sales of 974 decreased 12% from March 2017, and 5% over the 10-year average. March new listings at just under 2,100 were down to a lesser extent at 5%.

Current inventory of MLS® listings going into the second quarter is almost identical to last year. It sits around 3,900 listings with a modest percentage gain of residential-detached listings available while condominium listings slipped slightly.

It is fair to say while market fundamentals are firmly in place in the local market, new mortgage rules combined with higher mortgage rates in the last year have made it more difficult for some buyers to purchase their desired property. This not only applies to first-time buyers, but to existing home owners who instead of listing their property have decided to stay put as the tougher qualifying environment keeps them from moving ahead with a new purchase.

As in other real estate markets across the country, strong year-end sales within the Winnipeg Metropolitan Region in November and December in advance of the January 1, 2018 new stress test on uninsured mortgages would have had a pull-forward effect on sales happening this first quarter.

Of course you can never discount mother- nature either as March has been unseasonably cold and did nothing to motivate buyers to kick start the spring market.

“The second quarter is by far the busiest quarter of the year and it will truly tell the story if the slow first quarter start is just that,” said Chris Dudeck, president of WinnipegREALTORS®. “We need to see if April regains some of the market momentum lost in the first quarter.”

Further analysis of both residential-detached and condominium properties provide a few observations.

While condominiums saw sales drop 14% in the first quarter, they are only 1% below the 10-year average. The average sales price of $240,740 was less than 2% below the more active first quarter of 2017.

Residential-detached, the most expensive property type class and one most vulnerable to recent policy-related moves to slow down the housing market, experienced an 11% decline over the 2017 first quarter, and a 7% drop off in same period sales over the 10-year average. The average sales price was higher however at $327,959 compared to $319,549, up nearly 3%, and the average days to sell was 29 versus 27 in 2017.

It is also worth noting the ratio of total sales price, to total list price, edged up to 99% in the month of March. This high percentage ratio can be attributed in part to a number of MLS® areas seeing whatever listings they had available sell quickly.

“ The majority of MLS® areas which experienced the biggest decrease in residential-detached sales compared to last year were in the more affordable price ranges and often had a corresponding drop off in available listings,” said Dudeck.

This same pattern was less apparent with condominiums which had more of an issue with less listings being sold compared to last year.

“As this first quarter demonstrates, changes occur within property types, price ranges and areas throughout the market region, “said Marina James, CEO of WinnipegREALTORS®. You need to be calling a REALTOR® to advise you on your best course of action.”

Royal LePage Canada’s real estate market predictions for major Canadian cities for 2018.

New OSFI Stress Test Set to Limit National Home Price Appreciation to 4.9% in 2018

  •  Impact of new stress test expected to be contained to first half of 2018 for most major markets
  • Still risk of high price appreciation in Greater Toronto Area and Greater Vancouver as chance of market correction fades
  • Compounding policies could have unintended consequences for struggling housing markets

TORONTO, December 13, 2017 – According to the Royal LePage Market Survey Forecast released today, the Royal LePage House Price Composite, which measures home prices in 53 key Canadian cities, is expected to increase 4.9 per cent by the end of 2018 to $661,919, in the face of a series of measures aimed at affordability challenges in Greater Vancouver and the Greater Toronto Area.

One of the most significant regulatory interventions in the housing industry in years is the incoming Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions (OSFI) mortgage financing stress test, which will take effect on January 1, 2018. The stress test targets existing and prospective homeowners applying for a mortgage, requiring them to meet stricter criteria when seeking new financing.

With a large number of existing homeowners potentially failing the test when refinancing next year, a temporary reduction in consumer confidence may further stagnate price growth as potential buyers and sellers take a ‘wait and see’ approach. Moreover, some potential move-up buyers will likely delay listing their homes as they will not be able to access sufficient financing for their desired next purchase. With further diminished affordability, it is likely that demand for entry-level properties will surge. In most urban centres, this will be most evident in the condominium segment.

“It is prudent that policy makers introduce measures that help protect the housing market from runaway price inflation,” said Phil Soper, president and CEO, Royal LePage, “However, natural supply and demand forces will always triumph over regulatory tinkering. Attempting to use public policy to steer property prices in huge, rapidly growing cities like Toronto and Vancouver is like a tugboat trying to turn an ocean liner. Consistent, measured policy can have a positive impact. Just don’t try to turn the market on a dime or you risk sinking the ship.”

“Insufficient housing supply in Canada’s largest cities will begin to drive significant price increases to higher than normal levels once the market adjusts to the new stress test,” continued Soper. “Aggressive home price inflation is still more of a threat today than the risk of a market crash in Toronto or Vancouver. On the other side of the coin, regions where demand is soft and already struggling to absorb the supply of homes for sale may have difficulty adjusting to these measures.”

Decreasing, or already low, inventory levels are expected to continue to define market characteristics of many large urban centres including the Greater Toronto Area, Greater Vancouver, Ottawa and Montreal. Further adding to the already bloated housing demand backlog, British Columbia and Ontario both experienced a surge in interprovincial migration in 2017, putting increased pressure on Greater Vancouver and the Greater Toronto Area housing markets. Demand from immigration, alongside demand from Peak Millennials[1] who are increasingly becoming of homebuying age, will continue to outpace supply.

“Royal LePage’s research into Peak Millennials[2] shows that younger Canadians desire to own their own homes with the same conviction as their parents before them,” said Soper. “Eighty-seven per cent see real estate as a good financial investment. The tight rental market is reflective of their dreams sitting on hold while they save for a downpayment. Of course there will be those who are priced out of a market altogether. They will continue renting and this will drive demand for investor properties.”

According to a recent Royal LePage Advisor Survey[3] on rental demand, 76 per cent of Royal LePage agents who offer rental services in the Greater Toronto Area saw a year-over-year increase in multiple offers and 68 per cent of those respondents cited affordability as a barrier to homeownership as the number one factor driving rental demand. In Greater Vancouver, 59 per cent of respondents servicing the Vancouver area saw a year-over-year increase in multiple offers for rentals. As a result, the pipeline of potential homebuyers providing a market price floor is growing and this growth trend is expected to continue through 2018.

Canada’s economy is expected to expand by 2.1 per cent in 2018, with all provinces, with the exception of Newfoundland, expected to see growth. Economic growth is an important driver of healthy housing markets.

“Most Canadians know how important the resource sector is to our economy but fewer understand just how important the real estate industry is to Canada,” said Soper. “In 2016, 13 per cent of the country’s GDP was driven by real estate. In British Columbia, that number was closer to 18 per cent.”

“When people are confident about their jobs and optimistic about the health of their country and their city, they will invest in a home,” Soper concluded. “At projected levels of demand, Canadian housing is poised for growth for years to come.”


Regional Pricing Forecasts (Listed by population size) 

Greater Toronto Area

Home prices in the Greater Toronto Area are expected to increase 6.8 per cent in 2018, rising to an aggregate[4] price of $901,392. This will largely be driven by price appreciation in the condominium market as demand for entry-level properties is expected to continue to surge. The Greater Toronto Area’s thriving economy and growing population has been supportive of an expanding housing market and this is expected to continue throughout 2018.

As a result of the incoming OSFI stress test, sales for detached properties are expected to soften in the first half of the year as both buyers and sellers adjust their price expectations. However, sales volumes for the full year are expected to remain at a similar pace as 2017.

“Relative to recent years, 2018 is expected to be a good year for buyers and this is a continuation from what we are currently seeing in the market today,” said Shawn Zigelstein, sales representative, Royal LePage Your Community Realty. “While the condo market should continue to see price growth from high demand, buyers looking at detached properties in the first quarter will be able to ask for conditions, have a much greater selection and should be competing against fewer multiple offers.”


Greater Montreal Area

Home prices in the Greater Montreal Area are expected to increase 5.5 per cent in 2018, rising to an aggregate price of $408,285. Among the economic factors supporting the Montreal real estate market momentum is ongoing employment growth seen across the region. In November, the province reached its lowest unemployment rate since January 1976, at 5.4 per cent, while Montreal recorded a 6.6 per cent rate during the same period. According to the Conference Board’s Consumer Confidence Index for Quebec[5], the proportion of Quebecers who feel that it is a good time to make a major purchase, such as a property, increased in November to 45.6 per cent, an unprecedented rate in more than 10 years.

Purchases made by foreign buyers in high-end neighbourhoods such as downtown, Westmount and Ville Mont-Royal are expected to continue. The strong local economy and relative affordability are credited for driving consumer demand from this demographic.

“The economic health of Montreal continues to positively affect real estate transactions in the area,” says Dominic St-Pierre, senior director, Royal LePage, for the Quebec region. “We are confident that the market will remain stable and strong within the next year. Our forecast takes into account that the upcoming OSFI stress test, as well as potential interest rates hikes, may cool down the housing market during the first half of 2018.”


Greater Vancouver

Home prices in Greater Vancouver are expected to increase 5.2 per cent in 2018, rising to an aggregate price of $1,353,924 as low supply continues to put upward pressure on the housing market. Further enhancing the housing market is British Columbia’s economy, which is poised to be a top performer among the provinces in 2018. One potential risk to the region’s housing market is further interest rate hikes as home prices are substantially higher in this region when compared to other Canadian markets. Interest rate hikes generally put upward pressure on the Canadian dollar, which also stifles interest from foreign buyers.

A trend that is expected to continue to strain the housing market is the hesitation from homeowners to put their properties on the market in fear that they will not be able to find another property. This will be amplified by the incoming OSFI stress test as some potential move-up buyers may not qualify for financing a new property. This lack of movement is expected to further constrain the supply of entry-level properties.

“We are watching how the new OSFI stress test will impact the Greater Vancouver market,” said Randy Ryalls, general manager, Royal LePage Sterling Realty. “Low inventory will continue to put upward pressure on prices. However, with the introduction of the stress test, as well as other factors such as potential interest rate hikes, price growth will likely be limited to mid-single digits.”



Home prices in Ottawa are forecast to increase 3.2 per cent in 2018, rising to an aggregate price of $458,208, reflecting the strong economic growth anticipated in the region through next year. Currently, housing inventory in the Ottawa market is very low and this trend is expected to continue throughout 2018, putting upward pressure on home prices.

As demand in the region is exceptionally high, the incoming OSFI stress test is expected to be quickly absorbed, limiting impacts on both home sales and prices.

“Ottawa is known for its steady growth and we expect consumer confidence to remain high throughout 2018,” said Hanna Browne, broker, Royal LePage Team Realty. “Most buyers who migrate to Ottawa have found employment locally prior to arriving, however, we are still seeing a surge of demand from buyers employed in Toronto who have the ability to work remotely full or part-time.”



Home prices in Calgary are forecast to increase 2.3 per cent in 2018, rising to an aggregate price of $494,109 as the region further emerges from recovery. The region’s housing market has been supported by stabilizing oil prices and improving employment rates. While it could take several years for the economy to improve to pre-downturn levels, Alberta is poised to be one of the fastest growing economies in 2018. In turn, this will likely further improve consumer confidence. While the energy sector will continue to be the most important factor influencing the housing market, the region has seen growth in non-energy sectors helping to mitigate risk through a more diversified economy.

Though the incoming OSFI stress test is expected to slow sales at the beginning of the year, buyers and sellers are expected to adjust, and the delayed market could result in brisker sales beginning in late spring, potentially finishing strong at the end of the year.

“Continued strong competition for homes priced between $400,000 and $500,000, coupled with the incoming OSFI stress test, will likely push first-time buyers into the condo segment where they have ample selection at affordable prices,” said Corinne Lyall, broker/owner, Royal LePage Benchmark. “One positive impact of the measure may be that it will improve the health of the condominium market.”



The aggregate home price in Edmonton is expected to decrease 1.5 per cent in 2018 and end the year at $382,180. While Edmonton’s economy has stabilized, the region has not seen a significant improvement in employment, which is needed to lift home prices. On a positive note, the Conference Board of Canada is predicting Edmonton to show modest but sustainable GDP growth of 2.2 per cent in 2018.[6]

Although the impact of the OSFI stress tests is expected to be less pronounced compared to previous measures targeting first-time buyers, sales in the beginning of the year will be slower as move-up buyers who do not meet new financing criteria temporarily move to the sidelines. However, sales for the full year are expected to be similar or slightly higher compared to 2017 levels.

“The best advice I can give a seller in Edmonton is to make sure your pricing is very accurate,” said Tom Shearer, broker and owner, Royal LePage Noralta. “A trend we will continue to see in 2018 as we remain in a buyer’s market, is heightened price sensitivity. Buyers expect to negotiate within 2 to 3 per cent, and if you are outside that range they just move on.”



Home prices in Winnipeg are expected to increase 4.0 per cent in 2018, rising to an aggregate price of $315,120. The region’s economy has benefitted from an increase in population and a low unemployment rate, which are expected to continue to put upward pressure on home prices and help maintain strong sales activity consistent with 2017 levels.

Strong demand for housing and low inventory is expected to continue through 2018, mitigating the dampening effect of the incoming OSFI stress test and limiting its impact to the first quarter.

“New regulations often create a ‘wait-and-see’ approach as buyers and sellers try to determine the long term impact,” said Michael Froese, managing partner, Royal LePage Prime Real Estate. “The strength of our economy and housing affordability are much more significant in determining the health of our real estate market than the expected impact from the incoming OSFI stress test.”



Home prices in Halifax are expected to increase 2.5 per cent in 2018, rising to an aggregate price of $326,975. The region’s economy has been expanding and the manufacturing sector, a key indicator for the region, is expected to continue growing through 2018. The region’s housing market has benefitted from both population and job growth. Inventory in the downtown core is expected to remain low and sales are expected to increase modestly by the end of 2018.

“We don’t expect the incoming OSFI stress test to have a significant effect on Halifax’s housing market. Homes are affordable and buyers rarely extend themselves,” said Matt Honsberger, president, Royal LePage Atlantic. “Our economy is a good news story and we expect that it will be the biggest driver of price appreciation in 2018.”



Home prices in Regina are expected to increase 0.7 per cent in 2018, rising to an aggregate price of $329,289. Employment from a modestly improving energy sector and international immigration is expected to put upward pressure on both home prices and sales. However, a net loss from interprovincial migration and a surplus of inventory will keep price appreciation at a modest pace. The region continues to be heavily reliant on potash and energy. Any improvement in either sector could lift home prices in 2018.

“The region is expected to remain a buyer’s market throughout 2018. Home sellers need every available tool to properly market their home if they want to sell this coming year,” said Mike Duggleby, broker and managing partner, Royal LePage Regina Realty. “The most important factor to get right is pricing. Buyers have enough selection that they won’t consider a property that isn’t already priced in a competitive range.”



Royal LePage Market Survey Forecast 

Region 2017 Aggregate Home Price(Estimate) 2018Aggregate Home Price


Canadian House Price Composite(53 Cities) $631,000 $661,919 4.9%
Greater Toronto Area $844,000 $901,392 6.8%
Greater Montreal Area $387,000 $408,285 5.5%
Greater Vancouver $1,287,000 $1,353,924 5.2%
Ottawa $444,000 $458,208 3.2%
Calgary $483,000 $494,109 2.3%
Edmonton $388,000 $382,180 -1.5%
Winnipeg $303,000 $315,120 4.0%
Halifax $319,000 $326,975 2.5%
Regina $327,000 $329,289 0.7%

Download Chart (.pdf)


About the Royal LePage Market Survey Forecast

The Royal LePage Market Survey Forecast provides year-over-year price expectations for Canada’s nine largest markets. Housing values are based on the Royal LePage National House Price Composite, produced through the use of company data in addition to data and analytics from its sister company, RPS Real Property Solutions, the trusted source for residential real estate intelligence and analytics in Canada. Commentary on housing and forecast values are provided by Royal LePage residential real estate experts, based on their opinions and market knowledge.


About Royal LePage  

Serving Canadians since 1913, Royal LePage is the country’s leading provider of services to real estate brokerages, with a network of almost 18,000 real estate professionals in more than 600 locations nationwide. Royal LePage is the only Canadian real estate company to have its own charitable foundation, the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation, dedicated to supporting women’s and children’s shelters and educational programs aimed at ending domestic violence. Royal LePage is a Brookfield Real Estate Services Inc. company, a TSX-listed corporation trading under the symbol TSX:BRE.


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May Delivers Best Month Ever

WINNIPEG – While May is not a make or break month for the year, it has proven to be the busiest month of real estate activity for WinnipegREALTORS® and one the 114 year-old association counts on to contribute measurably  to the year–end total. 2017 did not disappoint.

May 2017 ushered in an all-time record sales and dollar volume month with MLS® sales just shy of 1,700 and dollar volume flirting with the one-half billion or $500 million mark. May sales of 1,696 were up 4% while dollar volume of $499.4 million increased 8% in comparison to the same month last year.

As a result, year-to-date sales in comparison to the same period last year, made up lost ground in April to total 5,434 sales, only 12 sales off last year’s brisk pace, while dollar volume of $1.58 billion gained a few percentage points to end up 4% ahead of 2016 at this time.


“A stellar month for WinnipegREALTORS® which we know is attainable based on strong market fundamentals and a healthy choice of listings to choose from, “ said Blair Sonnichsen, president of WinnipegREALTORS®.  “The difference this year, as a result of tougher qualifying criteria for insured mortgages, is fewer residential-detached sales under $300,000. Offsetting them to some extent are gains in lower priced condominium sales.”

Sonnichsen added, “Another factor this year, which cannot be ignored, is City of Winnipeg impact fees on residential development in new emerging areas.”  “There are more existing residential-detached home sales happening in price ranges above $300,000. May recorded an upsurge in sales from $300,000 to $499,999 of 21%.”

After 5 months, condominium sales are leading the way for all property types with an increase of nearly 9% over the same period in 2016. May’s condo transactions of 214 helped make this possible with a 13% jump in activity over May 2016. Year-to-date residential-detached sales on the other hand are down 1%.

Besides condos, May was an excellent month for single-attached and town house sales with increases of 25% and 18% respectively.

“Not only does Winnipeg have one of the most affordable housing markets in the country but it also offers many alternatives to more expensive single family homes,” said Sonnichsen.

Current inventory going into June shows 2,406 residential-detached or single family home listings and 883 condominium listings. This translates to less than 2 months of residential-detached listing supply and 4 months for condos if no new listings were to come on the market.

Notable MLS® areas with scarce to limited residential-detached listings include Riverview, Fort Rouge, Crescentwood, River Heights, Linden Woods, Charleswood, Whyte Ridge and Richmond West – all neighbourhoods in the southwest quadrant of Winnipeg.  In the southeast quadrant, St. Boniface, St. Vital, River Park South and Windsor Park in particular would welcome a new influx of listings to meet spring market demand.

Based on high turnover of inventory in May, other neighbourhoods in short supply include North and East Kildonan, Transcona, Mandalay West, the West End, Wolseley, St. James, Westwood and Crestview.

I cannot stress enough the importance of working with your local REALTOR® – a market expert – to understand what exactly is happening within the local market you are interested in,” said Marina James, CEO of WinnipegREALTORS®.

Beyond the success of over 1,750 REALTORS® working together to help buyers and sellers achieve more sales than ever before in one month, it is important to understand the economic impact of all these completed transactions.

In 2017, the Canadian Real Estate Association estimates each home sale will generate an estimated $53,300 in spin-off spending and create one job for every three transactions. MLS® home sales and purchases in 2017 will add an estimated $27.6 billion in spin-off consumer spending to the economy and create almost 192,000 jobs.

“May was without doubt a win for buyers, sellers and the local economy,” said Sonnichsen

All markets are local and vary within a specific market region. To understand what is happening with your property type, price range and area of city or outside Winnipeg, call a REALTOR® to provide you with their expert advice and knowledge.

Winnipeg MLS Statistics May 2016

Highest Ever Monthly MLS® Dollar Volume Total of $460 Million
WINNIPEG – May 2016 showed stellar results with MLS® sales surpassing 1,600 for only the third time in WinnipegREALTORS® 113-year history. MLS® dollar volume followed suit with a new all-time monthly record of $460 million.
2016 is picking up where 2015 left off with a full recovery in condominium sales from early last year and residential-detached sales continuing to shine and show gains over the previous year. Beyond the two main property types, sales increases are also occurring in most others such as duplexes, vacant land, commercial, mobile homes, single-attached and town houses.

“Buyers are taking notice and advantage of one of the most affordable markets in the country,” said Stewart Elston, president of WinnipegREALTORS®. “They also have the benefit of choosing from a wide array and abundance of good listings.”

Only May 2007 has higher monthly sales than the 1,629 sales transacted in May 2016. Both May 2016 sales and dollar volume were up 12% over May 2015. New listings were robust too, just shy of 3,000 coming on to the market in May. Despite all these new listings, the inventory of 5,291 listings at the end of May is down 8% from last year.
Year-to-date MLS® sales of 5,446 are up 9% from the same period last year and ahead of previous years, albeit by a very small margin in comparison to 2012. Year-to-date dollar volume of $1.5 billion is up 10% from the first 5 months in 2015. Listings entered on the MLS® in 2016 are virtually the same as last year’s at just over 11,000.
“Given the second quarter, our busiest quarter of the year, is performing so well, it does set us up to usher in another steady and impressive year of MLS® sales activity,” said Elston. “We may even look at adjusting our annual forecast projection at the end of June based on year-to-date numbers.”

Sometimes it is interesting to note where your gains are in sales over the previous year when you look at the price range breakdown. May 2016 saw quite a significant increase in residential-detached sales at the lower end of the spectrum from $125,000 to $149,999 but also experienced a sizable jump in sales activity from $475,000 to $599,999. As for condominiums, an upward shift is occurring with the $200,000 to $249,999 price range showing a 33% increase in unit sales over May 2015.

You only have to go back to May 2013 when the $150,000 to $199,999 price range for condominiums was so much more dominant than other price ranges at 40% of all sales. May 2016 shows the $200,000 to $249,999 price range coming within a few sales of equaling this price range.

The most active price range for residential-detached sales in May 2016 was from $250,000 to $299,999 at 21% of total sales. Deadlocked in second place were the $200,000 to $249,999 and the $300,000 to $349,999 price ranges at 15% each. The highest sale price was $1,650,000 with the lowest at $37,000. The average number of days to sell a home in May was 23, 2 days quicker than May 2015.

The most active price range for condominiums in May 2016 was $150,000 to $199,999 (at 24%). Close behind was the $200,000 to $249,999 price range at 22% of all condo sales. The highest condominium sale price was $460,950. The lowest sale price was $84,500. The average days on market for condo sales in May was 47, 6 days slower than May 2015.

Established in 1903, WinnipegREALTORS® is a professional association representing just under 1,900 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.