How to Find your Home in Winnipeg’s Hot Housing Market

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The Winnipeg housing market is currently a ‘seller’s’ market’ or ‘hot market’, meaning that if you’re looking to buy a home in Winnipeg, competition can be fierce. House hunting in a hot market can be challenging, but there are things you can do to help increase the chances of your offer being accepted, and securing your home.

The Winnipeg Real Estate Landscape

2021 is a hot year for real estate in Winnipeg.

According to the Winnipeg Regional Real Estate Board, in June 2021:

  • The average price of a residential detached home increased by 16% year over year to $381,053. Condos came in at an average price of $244,416, a 2% increase and we've seen double the number of condo sales compared to 2020.
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  • For single-family homes, $500,000 to $749,999 was the most active purchase price range. To contrast, generally the $250,000 - $299,999 price range is the most active in the Winnipeg market.
According to the Canadian Real Estate Association, the median value of single detached homes in Winnipeg has increased consistently since the year 2000. See their graph here showing the median price over time in Winnipeg.

Finding your Home in this Landscape

Finding a home in a hot market is a result of planning, flexibility and a bit of luck. The more specific your criteria, the more difficult it will be to find that perfect home at a reasonable price. This is particularly true if you are only open to a small geographic area. However, if you’re open to various areas and shopping according to lifestyle, price and then location, you will have a greater selection and should find your home more quickly.

When looking for a home in a hot market, you may not get the first home you put an offer on. Be patient and try not to let your emotions get the best of you, as that can lead to over-paying for a home.

Set Yourself up for Success

In a hot market, you need every advantage you can get. Blair Sonnichsen, a Winnipeg realtor, strongly encourages those looking for a home to get pre-approved for a mortgage before starting to house hunt.

At Cambrian Credit Union, for a limited time, get pre-approved for a mortgage and we’ll take 10 points off our posted 3, 4 or 5-year fixed rate mortgage. That equals to thousands of dollars of savings. And, even better: we’ll hold that rate for you 120 days, giving you time to find the house of your dreams.

Another thing to consider is working with a realtor. A realtor will know what you are looking for in a home, and will be able to forward you properties that meet the criteria you are looking for, and advise you on the offer you should be making.

In a hot market, a new home on the market may not be there for long. Set alerts so that when a property comes on the market that is of interest, you can make arrangements to view it without delay.

Compromise, Compromise, Compromise

Do you absolutely need a home now? If you are on a tight timeline, Sonnichsen suggests viewing three homes that fit your criteria, and then write an aggressive offer on your second or third choice.

“If a home is your first choice that means it is likely the first choice for several other people. Most buyers will bid aggressively on their first choice and over-pay, or pay dramatically more than if they’d gone to their second or third choice.” If you put an offer on a home in Winnipeg that is your second or third choice, it makes it less likely that you will find yourself in a bidding war.

By compromising a little bit on your wish list, you will still get a great home that you can make perfect. Cambrian offers a very flexible “purchase plus improvements mortgage” that allows you to add on the value of the renovations to your mortgage amount.

With a purchase plus improvements mortgage, you can borrow up to 10% of the projected value of the home once the renovations are complete. For example, a home is listed for $300,000 and the projected value once renovations are complete is $350,000. That means you can borrow up to 10% of $350,000 or $35,000 for renovations. This amount would be added to your mortgage.

Making an Offer

“Try not to complicate your offer with unnecessary requests for appliances or furniture to be left behind as it could negatively influence the acceptance of your offer,” he says.

Before making an offer, explore 7 Tips to Win a Bidding War on a Home (Without Over Bidding) to learn how to handle a bidding war in a hot market.

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