It might be one of the coldest cities in Canada, but the Brandon real estate market is red-hot right now. It is a testament to how the momentum from 2020 has carried into the new year and how strong the housing sector is in the southwest Manitoba city.

Brandon has become another Canadian housing market to enjoy record-breaking sales activity and prices. Demand is strengthening, supply is limited, borrowing has never been cheaper, and consumer trends are evolving. Although Brandon is Manitoba’s second-largest city, it still possesses the small-town charm that today’s homebuyers desire under these current conditions.

Everyone wants to know if this growth will last. Many real estate experts could not forecast what has happened over the last year. But industry observers have done a better job combing through the data to see what could be happening in the near- to medium-term. So, what do the latest numbers tell us?

The data shows the Brandon real estate market is indeed growing, much like all markets across the country, with few roadblocks on the horizon to quell this heated activity. Whether that can be sustained or not remains to be seen. Let’s go through the latest data.

Sales in the Brandon, Manitoba Real Estate Market Continue to Rise

According to the Brandon Area Realtors, residential sales of single-detached homes advanced 133.3 per cent year-over-year in February, totaling 56 units. Or, put another way, the housing market in the southern Manitoba town doubled from the same time a year ago. Overall, in the first two months of 2021, home sales surged 111.4 per cent, with 93 transactions.

Prices in the Brandon real estate market have recorded double-digit growth. The median sale price for single-detached homes increased at an annualised rate of 23 per cent to $309,900. On a year-to-date basis, which is considered by industry observers to be more comprehensive, it rose 14.2 per cent to $274,000.

Moreover, the dollar value of all single-detached properties totaled $17.7 million, spiking 214.1 per cent from the same time a year ago. This also established a new record for the month of February.

The limited inventory is being scooped up rather quickly, even in the freezing cold. Single-detached homes lasted only 20.5 days on the market in February 2021, down from 43 days in February of last year.

Housing starts have improved from 2020, with the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) reporting eight in February. Housing completions have been cut in half from last year, totaling five.

The broader Manitoba real estate market has been enjoying impressive growth, too, with more than 1,200 residential properties sold in February. According to the Manitoba Real Estate Association (MREA), residential sales popped 48 per cent and the average price rising 14.5 per cent to $318,074.

Is the Manitoba Real Estate Market Still Affordable?

One of the biggest concerns in the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic is that the Canadian real estate market is largely unaffordable. While prices and sales activity have experienced historic growth over the last 12 months, 75 per cent of regions in the Great White North are described as “undervalued.”

Despite record-setting transactions and valuations, many of Canada’s housing markets are within the range of families’ budgets, whether it is Fort McMurray or Windsor. But what about Brandon or the broader Manitoba real estate market?

MREA 2021 President Stewart Elston said in a February news release that the province is witnessing “a highly competitive housing market and many homes are selling quickly.” While homebuyers need to adapt as quickly as possible, homeownership remains within reach, he noted.

“Over the past 10 months, the surge in demand for homes in Manitoba has left fewer properties available for purchase,” said Elston. “While property prices have been rising as a result, we are fortunate in Manitoba that many homes remain affordable compared to other parts of Canada. Especially now and in the months ahead, buyers need to understand their options and how to navigate potential multiple offer situations.”

Of course, how long this can last is up in the air as many factors are at play, from historically low interest rates to the national economic recovery. The Manitoba economy is also on the path to recovery, with the unemployment rate falling and growing consumer confidence helping to invigorate local businesses. Although consumer sentiment is at “historically subdued levels,” optimism has inched higher in the Prairies. For now, families are advised to work closely with a professional REALTOR® to find the best home for their needs – and budgets.