Compared to many other major urban centres in the Canadian real estate market, such as Toronto or Vancouver, Winnipeg enjoys one of the most affordable housing markets in the country.
According to the Winnipeg Regional Real Estate Board (WRREB), residential property prices remain well below the national average, even when Toronto and Vancouver are removed from the equation. Here is a breakdown of the average price for the three main housing categories:
- Detached: $406,209
- Attached: $325,883
- Condominium: $255,206
By comparison, the average selling price for a home in Toronto was $1.182 million. The MLS® Home Price Index composite benchmark price for all residential properties in Metro Vancouver is currently north of $1.2 million.
Indeed, with a bit of research and effort, it is possible to find the perfect home for your budget in the Winnipeg real estate market. Of course, it is vital to remember that various factors can impact housing affordability in the Manitoba city. But what should you be determining anyway?
Let’s look at some factors you should consider when looking for affordable houses for sale in Winnipeg.
Finding Affordable Houses for Sale in Winnipeg
Here are several aspects that you will likely need to assess when searching for a Winnipeg home:
#1 Price Trends
It is always a good idea to conduct thorough research on housing prices in Winnipeg. Prices can always fluctuate due to changes in demand, supply, interest rates, and the overall economy. Ultimately, the more you monitor these trends, the better you can time your purchase.
So, for example, Winnipeg housing market experts say that the inventory tightness has eased, which could put pressure on price growth.
“The depleted housing availability seen over the last 3 years has balanced out with gains to active listings that are encouraging to see. A healthy housing inventory that spans all different price ranges is important for a balanced market,” said Rena Prefontaine, 2023-2024 President of the Winnipeg Regional Real Estate Board, in a statement.
#2 Local Real Estate Market
This ties into the previous point, but placing a magnifying glass on Winnipeg’s local real estate market is key to gauging what properties are available, what homes suit your budgets, and how mortgage rates impact buyers and sellers.
#3 Mortgage Rates
Indeed, mortgage interest rates play an integral role in affordability. At the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the Bank of Canada (BoC) slashes interest rates to nearly zero, allowing homebuyers to scoop up residential properties outside of the big cities for a much smaller cost.
Today, the 30-year mortgage rate is well above five percent.
#4 The Economy
What are the economic conditions like in Winnipeg? It would be prudent to explore job opportunities, income growth, and economic stability, which can affect affordability and ultimately influence your decision. Here is a basic rundown of the economic situation in Winnipeg:
- Unemployment Rate: 4.9 percent in July 2023
- Consumer Confidence: Down for the second straight month in July 2023
- Real GDP: +3.6 percent in 2022
#5 Public Policy
Municipal government policies, regulations, and rules related to housing, zoning, and property taxes can impact affordability based on how they can facilitate construction or hurt homeowners’ wallets.
Is your home your forever home? Or is it a short-term investment?
If you plan to stay in Winnipeg for an extended period, the long-term appreciation potential of the property could outweigh short-term market fluctuations. However, your investment decision could vary if you are looking for a short-term residence.
A Homebuying Plan in Winnipeg
Overall, finding affordable houses for sale in Winnipeg will involve research and planning.
The first strategy is knowing your budget. By measuring your affordability in terms of purchase price and extra costs like closing fees, maintenance, and property taxes, you can know what you can afford and determine if you have the funds to acquire the home.
One of the best mechanisms to employ is to be pre-approved for a mortgage. Financial experts assert that this will give you a clear idea of your homebuying budget.
Another tactic homebuyers need to incorporate in their homebuying plan is planning to purchase a home in the Winnipeg real estate market. Typically, the best way is to have a list of criteria:
- Produce a list of the key features you want in a home and prioritize them (bedrooms, bathrooms, amenities, and preferences).
- Conduct online searches to generate an idea of property types and prices (Winnipeg certainly has plenty of neighbourhoods and price ranges).
- Attend open houses to get an idea of the available properties and their condition and price.
- Work with a real estate agent, as this is always recommended since they have comprehensive knowledge about the market, can show you suitable properties, and negotiate on your behalf.
- Take your time with a decision when buying a house, and always inspect the property thoroughly to uncover any potential issues that might affect the cost of ownership.
In the end, when you decide to purchase a house, be sure that you review all documents carefully and consult with a real estate attorney for guidance. The affordability of a house is independent of its initial purchase price. Other costs like property taxes, utility bills, and maintenance fees should always be factored into your budget.
With the proper planning and research, finding the perfect home within your budget is possible.