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The Multiple Listing Service says 2016 was a good year for real estate agents in Steinbach. Sales of single-family homes were up eight percent over 2015. There were 460 sales, up from 426 a year earlier. The average price was up about three percent to around $270,000. MLS spokesperson Peter Squire adds sales of condominiums in Steinbach were up 74 percent last year.

"You had 47 (condo sales) in 2016 compared to 27 in 2015. Prices were about the same, about $195,00 in 2015 and dropped slightly to $192,000. That echoes the real competitiveness of that market in general but, certainly, sales were strong in 2016 and I think that trend will just continue with condos."

Squire adds he is optimistic about the market again this year.

"I'm actually doing a forecast event on January 18th and I'm still working on that, but I think we remain optimistic, based on the fundamentals that still exist within our market. Manitoba's economy is known for its diversity and how steady it is. And, I think Steinbach is a really good example of that by how well it's done as its own economic engine within that southeast area of Manitoba. We remain optimistic. One of the challenges will be the higher stress test (for mortgage approvals) that was brought in near the end of 2016 that the government now requires. That will be a challenge for first-time buyers in some cases so they may have to adjust their sight lines in terms of what they thought they could afford. But at least in our market, and that certainly includes Steinbach, we're not priced out of the market like some other cities and regions."

Squire notes the average price of a home in the entire MLS area, which includes Winnipeg, is just over $300,000. He adds that means homes in Steinbach, which average $270,000, are still a very attractive buy. Furthermore, he says the overall Manitoba market is one of the most affordable in the country.

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