Going into this spring’s buying season, the average housing price in Brandon has gone up slightly and there are fewer units listed this year than last.
Overall, however, conditions remain pretty much on par with last year when factoring in year-to-date statistics to the end of February.
At 82 housing units sold to the end of February, 2017 is exactly on pace with last year, Brandon Area Realtors executive officer Jen Pearson said.
These units’ average price has gone up by 4.65 per cent, from $254,000 to their current $265,800.
These figures have been bolstered by the addition of high-end condominium units, with condominium units’ average price so far this year $287,000 to last year’s $319,000.
In a broader context, condominium unit starts have been outpacing single-family detached homes, with the Brandon marketplace favouring row condominiums in recent years, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. senior market analyst for Manitoba Heather Bowyer said.
In 2015, there were 82 housing starts and 107 condominium unit starts, while last year saw 85 housing starts to 96 condominium unit starts.
Condominium units tend to be popular among an aging population of people who are looking to get into a home that requires less maintenance, she said, adding that despite this sustained push the market still doesn’t appear to be over-saturated.
The number of new listings is down so far this year, to the end of February, with 198 to last year’s 231.
Still, with 286 residential properties of all types currently on the market, there’s a healthy enough number to keep prices at a decent level, Pearson said, adding that the greatest drop in units has been with the higher-end properties.
When all of these figures are factored in, these statistics all point to a near status quo 2017, Pearson said, adding that it’s been fairly consistent in recent years, with this year neither leaning to a buyer’s or a seller’s market.
City of Brandon director of economic development Sandy Trudel agrees with this sentiment, adding that there’s "nothing out there that would say there’s a significant deviation in the market."
While houses seem to be staying on the market a bit longer, she said that there’s no reason to suspect any significant changes in the city’s housing market this year, she said tends to be the case in Brandon.
"What you see is nice, steady increments upwards," she said. "We don’t see those wild fluctuations of pricing value going up or going down, we’re just really solid. Our new builds tend to be on the high side of solid, and our resales are solid, so it gives a really stable housing market."
Pearson clarified that anything can change during the buying season, which tends to pick up between May and June.
Although Brandon’s average housing price has nudged up to its current $265,800, those in the Wheat City continue to face a more affordable housing market than the national average.
The national average price for a home sold in February was $519,521, which is up 3.5 per cent from a year ago. Excluding the Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto areas, the average housing price was $369,728.