At the heart of Canada at least geographically is Manitoba, a prairie province with Winnipeg as the capital and the seat of government, which is also home of more than 50% of its population. It is well-known for its highly varied landscape, the Aboriginal peoples, and deep history and culture.
The average age of the borrower in Manitoba is 37 years old, which is somewhat younger than that of other regions such as Ontario or British Columbia. The youngest applicant can be 19 years old. Mortgage applications, meanwhile, are higher among those that want to refinance or consolidate their debt, as well as for people who are categorized as first-time home buyers.
They are followed by individuals who are interested in buying a new home. There’s a very small interest in mortgage renewal. Winnepeg ranks first in terms of mortgage applications and inquiries. The average home loan in the city is more than $158,000, which is interestingly cheaper than other neighborhoods like Brandon and Thompson.
The province of Manitoba is expected to see 5,475 total starts in 2011, down from 5,888 in 2010. By 2012, starts will rise slightly to 5,500 units.
The province's economic outlook will help to keep starts stable over the course of the forecast horizon. Manitoba's real gross domestic product is projected to rise by 2.3 percent in 2011 followed by growth of 2.5 per cent in 2012. Consumer spending, a key driver of growth in the province is expected to continue to rise over the forecast period.
Employment in Manitoba is projected to expand by one percent this year with an unemployment rate of 5.3 percent. The economic expansion is expected to boost employment by 1.2 percent in 2012 and edge the unemployment rate down to 5.2 percent. A growing economy and labor market, along with elevated migration to the province, will continue to support housing demand over the next two years.
About 63% of the dwellings in Manitoba can be classified as detached houses. This is corroborated by the 2011 census that included information on the type of structural dwelling. There were more than 300,000 single-detached homes in Manitoba, way higher than 37,600 of apartments and other high-story properties, 8,500 movable dwellings, and over 97,000 other types of dwellings.
The average number of people per household is 2.5. The percentage of single-detached dwellings in Manitoba is also significantly higher than more urban areas like British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec.
When it comes to market forecast for 2016, Manitoba is expected to enjoy a positive outlook with an increase of 7.1%.
Single Starts: Provincial single-detached housing starts will finish 2011 almost eight per cent behind the results of 2010 at 3,675 units. While demand remains driven by continued gains in population, wage growth, and steady employment, parts of the province were affected by flooding and as a result building activity was curtailed for part of the year. Overall, starts will remain stable in 2012 at 3,700 units.
Multiple Starts: After a 23-year high for multi-family starts in 2010, builders slightly slowed production in 2011. The total number of semi-detached, row, and apartment starts in 2011 will still be among the highest of the last two decades. Despite the high level of construction, inventory levels remain in check as units are absorbed quickly in both the rental and condominium markets. As a result, multi-family starts will be 1,800 in 2011 and 2012.
Resales: The number of resale transactions in Manitoba will climb in 2011 at a slightly faster rate than in 2010. The supply of listings in the province's largest market of Winnipeg remains historically low, restricting choice for would-be buyers. Recent price gains in Winnipeg will encourage more owners to list, however, this will also slow demand among first-time buyers. On balance, the above conditions will result in a modest increase in sales in 2017. Expect 14,600 units sold in 2016 and 13,900 in 2017.
Prices: Despite persistent sellers' market conditions, resale price gains have slowed thus far in 2011. The upward pressure on prices will continue to ease over the forecast period as the number of listings increases slightly and the market starts to turn towards more balanced conditions. Following a 10.3 percent gain last year, expect price growth to moderate to around four per cent in 2016 to $282,000 and to $287,000 in 2017.