Average residential home prices in Thompson rebounded slightly at end of year, but still finish at lowest mark since 2007

$190,884 in 2013; total sales tumble $4.64 million

The average price of a home in Thompson in 2013 fell to $190,884, according to data from both the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) in Ottawa and Manitoba Real Estate Association (MREA) in Winnipeg, the lowest average house price in Thompson since 2007 when the average price was $152,179.

Total home sales here last year dropped from to 43 from 62 in 2012 and the total value of sales dropped $4.64 million to $8.208 million from $12.399 million a year earlier.

The average price for the entire year did increase slightly from $186,342 for the first 10 months of the year to $190,884 for the entire year.

In 2013, there were a total of four houses sold during the last two months of the year - two in November and two in December - for an average price of $207,500 compared to 2012 when there were a total of six houses sold during the last two months of the year - five in November and one in December - for an average price of $244,050.

There are several important caveats, however, worth remembering when thinking about average house prices in Thompson. CREA and MREA statistics are based on the number of home sales processed through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) systems of more than 100 Canadian real estate boards and associations and other co-operative listing systems, but Thompson has not had a local real estate board for many years and comparatively few homes sold by the four local realtors in Thompson - Locker's Real Estate Brokers, Century 21, RE/MAX and Royal LePage - are MLS sales. The only three real estate boards in Manitoba are the Winnipeg Real Estate Board, Brandon Real Estate Board and the Portage Real Estate Board.

Realtors on an exclusive listing basis sell most homes in Thompson. Actual land transfer sales figures can only be obtained after title registration through Manitoba Tourism, Culture, Sport and Consumer Protection's property registry at the Portage Land Titles Office in Portage la Prairie.

Also, the overall market is small and a minor change in the number of sales - and the type of home and neighbourhood it is sold in - can cause a huge swing in prices either upward or downward on a month-to-month basis.

Sue Buckle, a realtor with Locker's Real Estate Brokers, said last month she believes "that the current market is stable - slightly down from the high of 2007-2008 in comparable sales in some cases. One has to look at several variables - size, age, location, amenities of homes - compared to similar properties that sold at the height of the market - to get a true picture of the market overall. Off the top of my head over the past year, there have been several homes that sold in the $300,000 to $475,000 (some on MLS and some exclusive and private sales). It all depends on the strength of the buyer and the properties available for sale - supply and demand.

"Thompson will hopefully continue to diversify from a 'one industry' town as it has since my return in 2005. Since we are a transitional community and local work force, with folks always coming and going - I believe that we will continue to thrive and the market will continue to be stable. I believe that healthy markets go in cycles and one would be better to look at the real estate market over the long term rather than the short term. There will always be peaks and valleys in the market - one just has to 'ride the tide.' On the average, the long-term investment in 'mortar and brick' (property) has been profitable - sometimes better than the stock markets."

Looking at local real estate data going back 15 years to 1998, there were 62 homes sold in Thompson in 2012; 99 in 2011; 85 in 2010; 49 in 2009; 21 in 2008; 39 in 2007; 54 in 2006; 54 in 2005; 66 in 2004; 114 in 2003; 90 in 2001; 100 in 2000; 93 in 1999; and 76 in 1998.

The lowest average house price for the 15-year period was $83,762 in 2000, closely followed by 2001 when the average house piece was $84,036.

The average residential house price in Thompson in 2006 was $126,492; in 2005, $115,429; in 2004; $99,788; in 2003, $97,014; in 2002, $89,986; 1999; $88,724; and in 1998, $93,451.

The highest average annual house price in Thompson during the 15-year period - in fact, the highest average annual house price here ever - was in 2008 when the average price was $243,391.

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