The spring of 2021 has been promising for the broader Canadian real estate market, with a continuation of many of the upward trends witnessed over the past year. With cities large and small setting monthly and all-time records, the national market has quickly heated up and is remaining at a boiling temperature. In other words, if you are in the market to sell, now is the time – especially if you live in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Known as the “Polar Bear Capital” of the world – due to its large population of polar bears in the northern section of the Province – Manitoba offers many natural attractions such as beautiful lakes and various mountain ranges. This tends to draw in those who love natural phenomena.

In addition to the natural wonders, Manitoba, particularly Winnipeg, offers a vast rural landscape along with the amenities of a major city. Hosting just over 800,000 residents, Winnipeg boasts ample career opportunities, regardless of economic sector. This, along with affordable home prices, makes Winnipeg, Manitoba a desirable destination for young professionals and young families looking to buy their first home, and may have been priced out of other urban housing markets across the country.

Demand in Winnipeg Leading to Record-Setting Sales

The first quarter of 2021 saw the Winnipeg real estate market reach an unprecedented level of sales. Specifically, the month of March set a new all-time monthly record for the sales and dollar value for MLS. The number of sales was up 80% in March 2021 when compared to March 2020, with a sales volume of 1,975 units. Not only was this a big increase in one year, but it was also an impressive 60% above the 5-year March average. March 2021 continued to deliver when it came to the dollar sales volume. The month saw $663.9 million in transactions which is almost double that of one year ago.

Back in March, prospective sellers were encouraged to jump in on the market to seize the available opportunity. Kourosh Doustshenas, president of the Winnipeg Regional Real Estate Board (WRREB), noted that “the spring market presents a prime opportunity for those thinking of selling their property to realize a positive outcome for their listing given current market conditions.” Doustshenas also projected that the month of April would see the 2,000-mark surpassed for home sales in April. “It is very conceivable now that WRREB will break through the 2,000 MLS® sales threshold in April and see buyers, especially first-timers, seek other affordable options besides single-family homes.”

As the year continues to roll on, the real estate market in Winnipeg continues setting records – proving Doustshenas’ projection to be true. For the first time in the history of the month of April, the Winnipeg Regional Real Estate Board’s April sales surpassed the 2,000 threshold. The month saw 2,055 sales and a dollar value of $678.3 million in transactions!

With the sales volume continuing to rise, and the supply volume not keeping pace, the market is firmly in favour of sellers. By the close of April, there was less than a one-month supply of listings available on the market, which only further drove up the immediacy of prospective buyers. Kourosh Doustshenas states, “rapid sales are depleting our listings quicker than we can replace them. Our average continuous days on market for single-family home sales in April was three weeks and for sales from $350,000 to $399,999 it was just 2 weeks.”

Given the high demand and low supply of the Winnipeg market, one would think the prices would be at or above the national average. However, Winnipeg remains one of the more affordable places in Canada to buy a home – perfect for first time homebuyers. Closing out April 2021, the average price of a detached home was $382,513, an attached home averaged $318,782, and a condominium style properties averaged $233,170. The home prices in Winnipeg are only a fraction of the national average, which clocks in at $716,828, making the market both affordable for buyers, and lucrative for sellers who bought when the market was much lower.

What Can Be Expected for Winnipeg Real Estate?

Looking ahead in 2021, it is only expected that the low prices – when compared to the national average – will continue to drive real estate demand in Winnipeg. Coupled with the low supply of homes on the market, it is anticipated the housing prices will continue to creep upwards, further pushing the Winnipeg market into seller’s territory. Prices, however, will not come close to that of the rest of the country, which could influence buyers from more expensive markets, such as British Columbia and Ontario, to relocate to the Polar Bear Capital.