The past year has seen a big change for first time home buyers in Winnipeg. While still competitive in certain price ranges, all offers come with financing clauses, most with property disclosure statements and some even have subject to home inspections. A few short years ago, this would not have happened.
As I did last year, here are my predictions for 2016:
- Single family detached homes will still be in demand. Home prices will hold steady or increase slightly for homes up to $300,000. First time home buyers may find some bargains but expect to pay close to listing price if it is priced properly.
- Rates won’t change…too much. The cost to fund fixed rate mortgages recently increased in Canada due to some changes made by CMHC under the Mortgage backed securities and Canada Mortgage Bond program. The impact to home buyers is a slightly higher rate for fixed rate mortgages. Variable rate mortgages will continue to remain low unless an incredibly unforeseen event transpires during the year.
- Home inspections and property disclosure statements will be more commonplace. First time home buyers have not had a lot of home inspections completed in recent years due to the competition they were facing from other buyers. This has changed in the last 2 years and now buyers can take the time to have home inspections completed and address any concerns in a property disclosure statement.
- Beware the condo. There I said it. If your first home purchase is a condo please take the time to do your research. Make sure you know and understand how the new Condo Act introduced in 2015 could impact you up to 2018. There would be nothing worse than an unexpected cash call for improvements to the condo building that you were not aware of. Prices of condo’s can be affected by this as well as the supply of condo’s entering the market. There are currently 3225 condo units under construction in Winnipeg as compared to 1027 homes. Source: CMHC While condo’s may have some pricing pressure over the next few years, the prices and activity may settle down after that. If you are a first time home buyer and plan to buy a home after a few years of owing a condo, this may not be a good idea given the volatility and uncertainty that the condo market in Winnipeg may have.
While these are my insights I must say that Winnipeg still remains one of the most affordable markets in Canada. The diversity of our economy will be our strength when other cities and provinces may be under pressure.
Hope you have a happy and prosperous 2016!