House prices driving more first-time property buyers to seek out condos: real estate group
Published Wednesday, May 7, 2014 6:05PM CST Last Updated Wednesday, May 7, 2014 6:12PM CST
According to numbers from the Winnipeg Realtors Association, home sales for April were down two per cent compared to the same period a year ago in the city.
A total of 1,227 properties changed hands this year, while 1,245 were sold in the same month of 2013.
But this year’s sales totalled $333.1 million and last year the tally was only valued at $325.9 million.
“Over our 10 year average, we’re right on key,” said association president David Powell. “So, we are really in a well-balanced market right now.”
After six years on a quiet street in St. James, Amanda Buhse and her husband just listed their starter house for $249,000.
The house is almost 1,300 square feet and sits on a double lot and the couple thinks the asking price fairly represents what people should expect in the market.
“So far every homebuyer that we’ve had looking at the house has been a first time buyer,” said Buhse. “They are looking for the same exact qualities in a home that we were looking for.”
Powell said most realtors give first-time home buyers a reality check when they meet them.
37 per cent of detached homes that sold in April went for between $200,000 and $300,000.
Powell said that drives many first time buyers into the condo market where the most active price range is $150,000 to $200,000.
“Our average single family detached is selling for roughly $300,000 right now,” he said. “And sometimes that’s a bit of a stretch for our first-time home buyers.”
But he said people shouldn’t be discouraged if they can’t afford their dream home right away.
“Most people start off in their first time home. Lifestyles change and then they get a bigger home. And family planning starts and then they get an even bigger home,” said Powell.
That’s the plan for Buhse and her husband as they get ready to move into a large lot in the Exchange District.
“It’s also an investment for us,” she said. “So we decided to look for a project specifically that we could renovate and turn a profit on down the road.”