House sales in Steinbach are lagging behind last year's pace.
That is the word from Peter Squire, Market Analyst with Multiple Listing Service. Squire says though Steinbach continues to be one of the most active regions in MLS areas, the number of single-family home sales in Steinbach is down.
Through the first six months of 2018, there were 216 sales, compared to 249 in the same period one year ago. The number of listings this year is at 458, up from 452 a year earlier.
"Our listings are very similar to last year, that's across the entire Winnipeg metropolitan region," says Squire. "Though we're not converting as many listings to sales, that's what we're seeing."
Squire attributes the decline to the mortgage stress test that was introduced in 2016. That test requires first time home buyers to qualify for a higher interest rate to prove they can withstand future interest rate increases.
Though listings are down, the average selling price continues to climb. So far this year, it sits at just under $281,000 which is up from $272,000 a year ago. Squire says he's not surprised, noting some of the more affordable houses are not being bought.
As for condominium sales, there were 21 from January 1st to June 30th. Through that same stretch in 2017, Steinbach had 28. This year there have been 46 condo listings, compared to 56 last year.
Squire says he expects the overall trend to continue through the last half of 2018.
"A number of buyers are being placed on the sidelines so to speak with this new stress test so I still see that continuing through the next six months," he says.
He notes the advantage Steinbach has is there are a lot more affordable houses and condos on the market, giving buyers more of an opportunity to find something they can still qualify for.
According to Squire, the first quarter was really slow in Steinbach, then things picked up in April, slowed in May and then improved again in June. This year there were more sales in June than May, which he says is unusual.