WINNIPEG – While the increase in MLS® listings has been grabbing headlines in 2014 MLS® sales have still fared well. MLS® sales in December were up 5% over December 2013 and 3% above the 10-year average for December sales activity. As for annual MLS® sales, it was a repeat performance. When it was all said and done sales in 2014 fell shy of 2013 by only 42 sales (well under 1%). This makes 2014 the 5th highest MLS® sales on record for WinnipegREALTORS®.
The widest margin or difference in sales activity from the highest sales year in 2007 to 2014 is less than 2% so the top five years are all in a very narrow range. And not surprisingly 2014 MLS® sales are less than 2% ahead of the 10-year annual average of 12,631 sales.
Similar MLS® sales has not been the case for listings. This was especially evident in 2014 when current listings entered on the MLS® system each month were consistently up over the previous year and in many months the increases were in the double digits. At year-end the cumulative total of all the monthly current listings entered on MLS® was up nearly 12% at 22,842 listings. You have to go back to 1997 when there was roughly the same number of listings entered on MLS®.
In terms of active listings or the inventory of MLS® listings that exist at the end of each month, they too were consistently up throughout the year. The increase has been at least 20% and the average would be more in line with December’s month-end increase over December 2013 of 22%.
It is important to note, however, that the high of over 5,000 active listings which started in July and continued up until October where it fell back under this level, is now sitting at 3,164 listings. Similar again to the year-end cumulative total of current listings entered each month when compared with previous year totals, the last time this many listings existed at year-end was 1998 when there were 3,174 listings available for sale heading into 1999.
Of course everyone wants to know if a new annual dollar volume record was established again for WinnipegREALTORS®. Yes indeed a 2014 dollar volume of over $3.4 billion edged out last year’s record by less than 3%. 2014 marks the fourth year in a row dollar volume has exceeded the $3 billion mark and set a new benchmark level. 2000 was the last year when MLS® dollar volume failed to reach a higher level than the previous year. As for the month of December, despite having higher sales than December 2013 sales, dollar volume experienced a small decrease.
December MLS® unit sales increased 5% (616/587) while dollar volume dropped less than 2% ($163.9 million/$166.7 million) in comparison to the same month last year. 2014 MLS® unit sales were down less than 1% (12, 838/12,880) while dollar volume increased less than 3% ($3.42 billion/$3.34 billion) in comparison to 2013.
“Without a doubt 2014 resulted in a shift to a much more balanced market if not edging into a buyers’ market at times given the significant increase in active listings for sale every month,’ said outgoing WinnipegREALTORS® president David Powell. “Depending on how you measure our MLS® market at year-end we are either firmly entrenched in a very competitive balanced market or favouring buyers given there are over 5 months of MLS® listings supply available. Evident from our year-end result and December sales activity, sales remain strong so sellers just need to be a little more patient, understanding buyers are not lining up to buy their home as has been the case in years with much tighter supply.
December saw less than 10% of single family homes sell for above list price while 84% sold below list price. Condominium sales were similar to the percentage of above list price sales but had 63% sell below list price as had a much higher percentage than single family homes sell for at list price. As a comparison, December 2013 resulted in 15% of single family homes selling above list price and 67% selling below list price whereas condominiums were at 18% above and 54% below list price.
Available MLS® listings at the end of 2013 were at 4 months inventory and have been as low as 2.4 months at the end of 2007 and 2008.
In looking more closely at how the various MLS® property types performed in 2014, the two preeminent ones outshone 2013. Condominiums reached a new benchmark high of just under 1,800 sales and finished the year over 7% higher than 2013. Residential-detached or single family homes eked out a 1% increase over 2013 with 9,336 sales. Conversely, vacant lot sales went the other way and were down 29% from 2013. Duplexes decreased 17% from 2013 sales activity.
The residential-detached property type continues to dominate overall MLS® market share representing 73% of total sales. Condominiums which have grown in market share percentage in the past few years based on higher sales increases than residential-detached finished 2014 with a 14% market share.
“These year- end sales results for our two primary MLS® property types should dispel the notion because listings may be on the market longer due to increased competition there are not as many sales,” said Powell.
The most active residential-detached price range in 2014 was the $250,000 to $299,999 one at 23% of total sales. The $200,000 to $249,999 price range was the second busiest at 18%. The price ranges immediately below and above these two ranges were both at 13%. The year -end pie chart is remarkably similar to the same percentage break-outs in 2013. The highest sale price was $2 million.
The average days on market for residential-detached sales was 30 days, two days slower than 2013.
The most active condominium price range in 2014 was the $150,000 to $199,999 price range at 31%. Second busiest was the higher price range of $200,000 to $249,999 at 22%. A very similar result again to what happened in 2013 condominium price range sales activity. The highest sale price was $1,750,000.
The average days on market for condominium sales was 40 days, 5 days off the pace set in 2013.