Winnipeg housing market cools off in early 2015
Although unit sales were running ahead of last year's pace after the first two months of 2015, it was only by one per cent -- 1,260 versus 1,245 for the same period in 2014, Winnipeg Realtors Association (WRA) figures show. According to the Winnipeg Free Press, the increase in the dollar volume of sales was even less -- up a mere 0.6 per cent to $324 million from $322 million. That's a far cry from what's going on in overheated markets such as Vancouver and Toronto, where February home sales were up 21 per cent and 11.3 per cent respectively from a year earlier. Or in Calgary, where they were down a chilling 34.2 per cent. WRA president Dave MacKenzie said it's not unusual to see an uptick in listings as spring approaches."It's just that right now we're seeing more than in years past," he said, when a prolonged shortage of listings led to price wars and some homes selling for tens of thousands of dollars more than the original asking price.
Okanagan homes sales strong in February
After a disappointing start to 2015, the Okanagan Mainline Real Estate Board is reporting a 34 per cent improvement in home sales in February compared with the same month in 2014. “After a more than usual slowdown in January, Okanagan-Shuswap home sales rallied along with consumer confidence during February despite weaker economic conditions in Alberta,” Real Estate Board president Darcy Griffiths said. “While not at the record pace seen at the close of 2014, the year has started off at a much stronger level than we saw during the first six months last year. ” The Shuswap region led the way in February with single family residential sales improving 71 per cent compared to 2014. In the Central Okanagan, single family residential sales were up 68 per cent, while the North Okanagan saw an 18 per cent increase over 2014.
Sales growth expected in Toronto, Vancouver
The high-end of the Canadian housing market is shaping up to be a tale of two cities -- Toronto and Vancouver, that is. The latest forecast from Sotheby's International Realty highlights those two locales as the drivers of sales growth this spring. The Greater Toronto Area is expected to see the strongest pickup in sales nationally, particularly for single-family homes worth more than $1 million. Purchases of all types of luxury homes have already started this year on a high note, jumping 38 percent from the same time last year to 997 units. The GTA sold 7,527 luxury homes in all of 2014. Sotheby's credits historically low lending rates, along with a strong economic outlook for Ontario, improving consumer confidence and a shortage of inventory for the increase. It's a similar story for Vancouver, where a strong economic forecast for British Columbia and an anticipated surge in migration into the city are expected to sustain sales momentum. Sotheby's sees sales of both detached single-family and attached homes building in the coming months. Overall luxury home sales rose two per cent to 3,134 units in 2014. Sales of condominiums worth more than $1 million are expected to hold steady in both the Toronto and Vancouver areas. But one major city is expected to be left behind during the busiest selling season -- Calgary. Read the full story here