In January 2021, the number of properties sold across Manitoba was up a jaw-dropping 28% from January 2020. With numbers like this, it’s no surprise that Manitoba is in demand, as one of the hottest real estate markets among prairie provinces. But what makes Manitoba the destination of choice for those looking to purchase property?

Winnipeg boasts activities all year long, including destinations such as The Forks Market and Johnston Terminal Building hosting some of the best shops, restaurants, and outdoor patio areas overlooking the Riverwalk area. The Forks has activities for the whole family, including the Manitoba Children’s Museum.

Adventure seekers can also watch polar bears or view the Northern Lights, enjoying all the best that the province has to offer. With countless activities, it is no surprise the average sale price on a property in Manitoba is up a staggering 9.8% from January 2020 according to figures from the Manitoba Real Estate Association (MREA).

With more and more individuals and families working from home, 2020 was characterized by the strong desire to purchase homes with additional square footage and larger lots. This was meant to accommodate the need for home office and classroom space in order to homeschool. First-time home-buyers were able to capitalize on record-low interest rates and make the transition from renter to homeowner across Manitoba.

MREA 2021 President Stewart Elston stated in a press release that “In my three decades working with home buyers and sellers I have never experienced a year quite like 2020. It’s been an extraordinary year we will never forget.” While 2020 was a hot year for the Manitoba real estate market, 2021 is coming in strong, with total dollar volume already up 40.4% from January 2020.

A Peek Inside the Manitoba Real Estate Market

The high demand in Manitoba real estate has driven prices up, with prospective home buyers clamouring for a piece of the pie. While it may seem as though there is more demand than supply, MREA 2021 President Stewart Elston remains positive about those who want to buy homes being able to do so, stating, “While it has been challenging for some buyers to find a home, with many properties selling quickly, we are optimistic many more houses will come on the market as we get further into the year.”

The 2021 real estate market is projected to remain hot, with an increase of 4.75% in average house price. When comparing housing types, an anticipated 5% price increase is anticipated for two-story detached homes, and with condos increasing 1.25%. This will bring the median price of two-story homes up to an astounding $401,600 and condominiums up to $230,100.

Despite all this upward activity in the Manitoba real estate market, inventory is plummeting, with levels down 15.9% from January 2020, based on the latest market update from the MREA. Given this low supply, home prices will continue to soar to keep up with the demanding market.

Local industry experts are projecting that this demand for large, spacious properties and homes will be tempered by the slow return to normalcy, particularly in light of many more Canadians accessing the COVID-19 vaccine. Over the pandemic period, demand for city dwellings and condominiums coupled with lower financing costs, have allowed first-time home buyers to secure real estate within urban centres like Winnipeg. However, this COVID-19 discount may be coming to an end within the year ahead.

Long Term Projections for Manitoba Real Estate Markets

While the high demand for real estate across Manitoba, paired with supply levels that are struggling to keep pace, climbing prices and bidding wars will continue to be a reality for those navigating the home buying process. However, record-low interest rates will continue to make homeownership more attractive than ever before, due to the Bank of Canada interceding with bond markets and driving rates lower and lower.

Mortgage rates typically ebb and flow with the economy, and are projected to remain low until 2022 or 2023, when the economy is expected to recover. Until then, buyers are given the opportunity to purchase real estate and to benefit from low interest rates.

Your top tip for navigating Manitoba’s hottest markets: stay informed and work with a licensed real estate agent familiar with local market trends. Budgets allow buyers to come up with a concrete plan of what they can and can’t afford, and what concessions they must make to purchase a home. Once a property becomes available and matches a buyer’s wants and needs, an offer needs to be made with haste and with a strong number to stand out among the competition. The Manitoba real estate market is on fire, so buyers and sellers alike are advised strike while the iron is hot!