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Spotlight on the Winnipeg Real Estate Market – RE/MAX Canada – RE/MAX News

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The Winnipeg real estate market has hopped on the pandemic-era housing boom bandwagon. And while growth has been notable, it has not triggered an affordability crisis in this major urban centre.

Many young families and professionals have been migrating within Canada, with hopes of purchasing residential property at a budget-friendly price. Winnipeg and other areas across Manitoba have benefitted from this shift in home-buying trends.

But can these market conditions continue throughout 2022? Suffice it to say, the Winnipeg real estate market got off to an impressive start to 2022, and market forecasts anticipate modest growth for the rest of the year.

Spotlight on the Winnipeg Real Estate Market

According to the Winnipeg Regional Real Estate Board (WRREB), residential property sales fell 26 per cent year-over-year in January, totalling 690 units sold. On a historical basis, home transactions were just three per cent below the five-year average.

Industry experts attribute the decline to limited housing inventory.

WRREB data show that single-family listings slumped 31 per cent year-over-year in January. This has become the trend throughout the coronavirus pandemic, with listings sitting below 600 units. In comparison, there were close to 2,000 units for sale in December 2019.

Tight supply conditions have prompted an increase in Winnipeg real estate valuations. According to the WRREB, the average sales price of a single-family home topped $401,000 for the first time in its history, up 13.8 per cent from January 2021.

Last month, condos also enjoyed upward movement, climbing 12 per cent year-over-year to $251,629.

Overall, most of the Winnipeg region enjoyed notable price growth:

  • North: $262,510
  • Northeast: $417,273
  • West: $282,840
  • Southwest: $595,587
  • Southeast: $484,255

The solution to soaring price growth that could help prevent more prospective homeowners from sitting on the sidelines? More supply.

The Winnipeg Regional Real Estate Board has to go all the way back to 2008 when it found itself with such a depleted supply of listings on hand to meet buyer demand in our regional market. Limited supply curtailed sales, and this was most apparent in single-family where they were way off previous year’s activity,” said WRREB 2022 president Akash Bedi in a news release.

We have our own supply chain issues, but the difference for us is it can be resolved locally with more homeowners putting their homes on the market. There is clearly an opportunity here for sellers to achieve maximum value for their homes based on current market conditions.”

New housing construction has been prevalent in the Winnipeg housing market over the last year.

According to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), housing starts advanced 53 per cent year-over-year to 482 units in December. Throughout 2021, shovels were in the ground on 5,700 residential units, up 12.97 per cent from 2020.

That being said, with the Bank of Canada (BoC) raising interest rates in March and more hikes rumoured later this year, buyers and sellers could accelerate their 2022 plans, added Bedi.

What About Other Manitoba Real Estate Markets?

The trends unfolding in Winnipeg are happening elsewhere in the province, too.

In the city of Brandon, residential sales declined 15.4 per cent year-over-year in November, totalling 33 units. However, in the first 11 months of 2021, Brandon real estate transactions increased 14.4 per cent compared to the first 11 months of 2020. Data from Brandon Area REALTORS show that single-detached home sales were 11.8 per cent below the five-year average.

On the pricing front, the median sale price for single-detached homes sold in November gained 9.5 per cent year-over-year, totalling $290,000. Demand for Brandon homes was fierce, with the median number of days on the market coming in at five, down from 28 days in November 2020.

In the broader province of Manitoba, residential property sales slipped 2.7 per cent year-over-year in December, totalling 945 units. The average sale price advanced at an annualized rate of 10.1 per cent to $334,256. New residential listings declined 14.5 per cent to 768.

Will Affordability Reign Supreme in Winnipeg?

With the central bank increasing its interest rate, which will add to borrowing costs, some market analysts anticipate easing across the broader Canadian real estate market.

But might the same expectation apply to the Winnipeg housing sector? Not quite.

According to the RE/MAX 2022 Canadian Housing Market Outlook, Winnipeg housing prices are forecast to rise 3.5 per cent to $322,858 by the end of the year, with sales increasing seven per cent.

The Winnipeg real estate market is striking a balance between growth and affordability. The national average home price in February hit a new high according to the Canadian Real Estate Association, at $816,720. This leaves many young families who want to become homeowners seeking opportunities in the more-affordably priced Winnipeg housing market. It is a growing municipality, especially as the prairies attract newcomers and potentially fresh capital injections to support economic growth.

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Former B.C. Realtor has licence cancelled, $130K in penalties for role in mortgage fraud

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The provincial regulator responsible for policing B.C.’s real estate industry has ordered a former Realtor to pay $130,000 and cancelled her licence after determining that she committed a variety of professional misconduct.

Rashin Rohani surrendered her licence in December 2023, but the BC Financial Services Authority’s chief hearing officer Andrew Pendray determined that it should nevertheless be cancelled as a signal to other licensees that “repetitive participation in deceptive schemes” will result in “significant” punishment.

He also ordered her to pay a $40,000 administrative penalty and $90,000 in enforcement expenses. Pendray explained his rationale for the penalties in a sanctions decision issued on May 17. The decision was published on the BCFSA website Wednesday.

Rohani’s misconduct occurred over a period of several years, and came in two distinct flavours, according to the decision.

Pendray found she had submitted mortgage applications for five different properties that she either owned or was purchasing, providing falsified income information on each one.

Each of these applications was submitted using a person referred to in the decision as “Individual 1” as a mortgage broker. Individual 1 was not a registered mortgage broker and – by the later applications – Rohani either knew or ought to have known this was the case, according to the decision.

All of that constituted “conduct unbecoming” under B.C.’s Real Estate Services Act, Pendray concluded.

Separately, Rohani also referred six clients to Individual 1 when she knew or ought to have known he wasn’t a registered mortgage broker, and she received or anticipated receiving a referral fee from Individual 1 for doing so, according to the decision. Rohani did not disclose this financial interest in the referrals to her clients.

Pendray found all of that to constitute professional misconduct under the act.

‘Deceptive’ scheme

The penalties the chief hearing officer chose to impose for this behaviour were less severe than those sought by the BCFSA in the case, but more significant than those Rohani argued she should face.

Rohani submitted that the appropriate penalty for her conduct would be a six-month licence suspension or a $15,000 discipline penalty, plus $20,000 in enforcement expenses.

For its part, the BCFSA asked Pendray to cancel Rohani’s licence and impose a $100,000 discipline penalty plus more than $116,000 in enforcement expenses.

Pendray’s ultimate decision to cancel the licence and impose penalties and expenses totalling $130,000 reflected his assessment of the severity of Rohani’s misconduct.

Unlike other cases referenced by the parties in their submissions, Rohani’s misconduct was not limited to a single transaction involving falsified documents or a series of such transactions during a brief period of time, according to the decision.

“Rather, in this case Ms. Rohani repetitively, over the course of a number of years, elected to personally participate in a deceptive mortgage application scheme for her own benefit, and subsequently, arranged for her clients to participate in the same deceptive mortgage application scheme,” the decision reads.

Pendray further noted that, although Rohani had been licensed for “a significant period of time,” she had only completed a small handful of transactions, according to records from her brokerage.

There were just six transactions on which her brokerage recorded earnings for her between December 2015 and February 2020, according to the decision. Of those six, four were transactions that were found to have involved misconduct or conduct unbecoming.

“In sum, Ms. Rohani’s minimal participation in the real estate industry as a licensee has, for the majority of that minimal participation, involved her engaging in conduct unbecoming involving deceptive practices and professional misconduct,” the decision reads.

According to the decision, Rohani must pay the $40,000 discipline penalty within 90 days of the date it was issued.

 

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Should you wait to buy or sell your home?

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The Bank of Canada is expected to announce its key interest rate decision in less than two weeks. Last month, the bank lowered its key interest rate to 4.7 per cent, marking its first rate cut since March 2020.

CTV Morning Live asked Jason Pilon, broker of Record Pilon Group, whether now is the right time to buy or sell your home.

When it comes to the next interest rate announcement, Pilon says the bank might either lower it further, or just keep it as is.

“The best case scenario we’re seeing is obviously a quarter point. I think more just because of the job numbers that just came out, I think more people are just leading on the fact that they probably just gonna do it in September,” he said. “Either way, what we saw in June, didn’t make a big difference.”

Here are the pros of buying/ selling now:

Pilon suggests locking in the rate right now, if you don’t want to take a risk with interest rates going up in the future.

He says the environment is more predictable right now, noting that the home values are transparent, which is one of the benefits for home sellers.

“Do you want to risk looking at what that looks like down the road? Or do you want to have the comfort in knowing what your house is worth right now?” Pilon said.

And when it comes to buyers, he notes, the competition is not so fierce right now, noting that there are options to choose from.

“You’re in the driver seat right now,” he said while noting the benefits for buyers.

Here are the cons of buying/ selling now:

He says one of the cons would be locking in the rate right now, then seeing a rate cut in the future.

The competition could potentially become fierce, if the bank decides to cut the rate further more, he explained.

He notes that if that happens, the housing crisis will become even worse, as Canada is still dealing with low housing inventory.

An increase in competition would increase the prices of houses, he adds.

Selling or buying too quickly isn’t the best practice, he notes, suggesting that you should take your time and put some thought into it.

Despite all the pros and cons, Pilon says, real estate remains a good investment.

According to the latest Royal LePage House Price Survey for the second quarter of this year, the average home price in Canada is $824,300. That’s up 1.9 per cent from the same time last year, and up 1.5 per cent from the first quarter of 2024.

In the Ottawa Housing Market Report for June 2024, the average price of a home was up 2.4 per cent from this time last year to $686,535, but down 0.6 per cent from May 2024.

Experts believe many potential buyers are still hesitant of jumping into the housing market and waiting for another interest rate cut of 50 to 100 basis points.

“I don’t think it’s going to be the rush that we see in the past, because people are used to more of a conservative approach right now,” said Curtis Fillier, president of the Ottawa Real Estate Board. “I think there’s still a bit of a hold back, but I definitely do think with another rate cut, we’ll probably see a very positive fall market.”

With files from CTV News Ottawa’s Kimberly Fowler

 

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Real estate stocks soar to best day of year on rate cut bets

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(Bloomberg) — The stock market’s worst group notched its best day of the year as a cooler-than-expected inflation report stoked bets that the Federal Reserve will start cutting interest rates in September.

Shares of real estate companies jumped 2.7% Thursday for their biggest gain of 2024, climbing to their highest level since March as investors snapped up homebuilder, digital and commercial real estate stocks alike. Real estate also was the best-performing group in the S&P 500 Index Thursday, with volume that was around 30% higher than the 30-day average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Arguably the most significant news to come from the latest consumer price index reading was a pullback in housing-related inflation. Shelter costs rose just 0.2% for the slowest monthly increase in three years. Homebuilders, which have risen 7.1% this year, were up 7.3% for the session, the most since 2022. Shares of D.R. Horton Inc., which is scheduled to report earnings next Thursday, gained 7.3%.

“Housing has really been the last shoe to drop in terms of winning the battle against high inflation,” Preston Caldwell, chief U.S. economist at Morningstar wrote in a note to clients Thursday. “Leading-edge data has strongly indicated for some time now that a fall in housing inflation was in the works.”

A rally in real estate stocks is bad news for short sellers who have been piling into the group, which is the worst performer in the S&P 500 this year. To start the week, short interest as a percentage of float hovered near 49% in the SPDR Homebuilders ETF, the highest level since February for the exchange-traded fund, according to data from S3 Partners.

Property owners are rallying as well. Real estate investment trusts, which were brutally penalized during the two-year run up in borrowing costs, advanced by as much as 3%. And the outlook for the group appears to have turned a corner, according Rich Hill, senior vice president and head of real estate strategy and research at Cohen & Steers Capital Management.

“We think this is a compelling backdrop for listed REITs especially as fundamental growth remains on solid footing,” he said, referencing the latest inflation data and rate outlook. “The rally that started in October of 2023 pushing returns more than 20% above their trough looks set to continue if inflation cools and interest rates continue to decline.”

Shares of industrial REIT Prologis Inc., which reports second-quarter results on Wednesday, rose 3.3% to hit their highest level since April. U.S. Treasury yields tumbled, with the 10-year bond falling to 4.2% and the policy-sensitive two-year note slipping to 4.5%.

(Updates indexes and stock prices for market close.)

 

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