WINNIPEG -- Manitoba has seen a record year for real estate in 2020, despite the global pandemic.

According to the Manitoba Real Estate Association (MREA), more than 15,000 residential properties were sold in the province for the first time ever.

“It’s been a banner year for residential real estate in Manitoba,” said MREA president Glen Tosh in a news release.

“Despite COVID-19 and to the surprise of many, homebuyer demand has remained high as Manitobans are seeking additional living space to help weather the pandemic. We’ve observed this trend in many of the regional housing markets throughout Canada this year.” 

According to the association, year-to-date, there’s been a total of 15,818 homes sold, which is up by 13 per cent compared to the same period last year.

The year-to-date total dollar sales comes in at $4.81 billion, which surpasses the previous year-end record of $4.27 billion, which was set last year.

The MREA said the busiest month for home sales was July, with 2,060 sales. The association added this year also saw the highest ever monthly totally for November at 1,231. This is up by 25.4 per cent compared to November 2019.

Despite the record numbers, Tosh noted that one constraint on the province’s real estate market is lower inventory levels.

“New listings are down 8.4% compared to last year,” Tosh said.

“As a result, some home buyers have found it challenging to find their ideal home.” 

Tosh said strong buyer demand, fewer homes on the market and low interest rates have created a competitive housing market and pushed home prices to increase.

In 2019, the average home price in Manitoba remained level. However, over the first 11 months of 2020 the average price increased by 4.3 per cent to $304,150.

Tosh added that Manitobans are fortunate in the fact that homes are still relatively affordable compared to the rest of the country.

“However, we’ll certainly be watching the market closely heading into the new year,” he said.