Affordable Housing in Brandon’s Real Estate Spotlight

The Prairies continue to offer Canadian homebuyers something they have been craving for a long time: Housing affordability.

The Saskatchewan and Manitoba real estate markets are still enjoying low-priced residential properties, especially compared to other places in the Canadian housing industry.

In Manitoba, for example, the average sales price for a home in November was just below $329,000. Believe it or not, this was actually down nearly five percent from the previous month.

Of course, when you dive a little bit deeper into the Manitoba housing sector, you see even more affordable homes for families trying to get their foot in the door and acquire property.

Case in point, the Brandon real estate market.

Spotlight on Brandon Real Estate

Let’s be honest: Price instability in many facets of Canada’s housing sector has been the new normal for the past few years. The major urban centres, like Toronto and Vancouver, are experiencing this, as are the suburbs, rural communities, and even cottage country.

The good news is that there are still gems to be had, including Brandon, which may have become the symbol of stability.

In 2018, the average price for a detached home in Brandon was $248,000. In November 2023, it was below $298,000, a roughly 20 percent jump over five years, according to the Brandon Area Realtors. Not too bad at all.

By comparison, the average detached property in the Winnipeg real estate market ranges between $325,000 and $350,000. Additionally, Brandon is cheaper than the entire province of Saskatchewan, which recorded an average price of $325,000 in November 2023.

The same trends can be found in the condominium market. In the Brandon real estate market, condo prices in Brandon were approximately $196,000 in 2018. Five years later, they have risen to around $236,000. Plus, there was a roughly three percent drop in condo prices in 2022. This stability in condo prices is an attractive feature for buyers and investors who want to invest in the housing market but cannot afford a costly property.

Meanwhile, sales activity has been solid. Local real estate association data show that residential sales for single detached homes surged more than 17 percent, totalling 34 units. In the first 11 months of 2024, home sales rose two percent to 526 units. Still, historically, this was more than seven percent below the five-year average and close to ten percent below the decade average for this time of the year.

What Makes Brandon Real Estate Attractive?

Despite price instability in other areas, the housing market in Brandon, Manitoba, has remained relatively stable. Significant changes have occurred in housing prices in neighbouring cities, but Brandon real estate has remained consistent. This is also obvious because Brandon was rated the most affordable market in 2022.

Several factors can explain the stability and affordability of Brandon real estate.

First, the market size is relatively small compared to other cities. The city has demonstrated steady population growth over the years, leading to housing demand being constant, primarily due to continued migration into Manitoba.

During the coronavirus pandemic, when interest rates were at record lows, many people relocated to Brandon to take advantage of low housing prices. While interest rates have climbed since then, the influx of new residents to Manitoba (and Brandon) continues to ensure a stable demand for housing. This is true for both home purchases and rentals.

In addition, experts argue that Brandon has benefited from shifts in consumer activity and preferences because of the pandemic. An increase in remote working and more out-of-province buyers has positively impacted this region. Brandon also has an affordable cost of living, an attractive natural environment, several provincial parks, and numerous recreational opportunities.

All these factors have played a role in preventing price fluctuations in Brandon. This makes this area desirable since prices for single-family homes elsewhere in Canada, such as Toronto or Vancouver, are nearly triple the value.

Lower living costs in Brandon also make it an attractive prospect for businesses. Aside from housing prices, Brandon enjoys one of the country’s lowest electricity rates and manufacturing labour costs. Labour supply is stable, has plenty of access to major transportation systems, and is centrally located in the middle of a vast trading area.

Brandon is a Soon-to-Be Booming City

The province of Manitoba remains one of the most affordable real estate markets in Canada. This is particularly true for the city of Brandon. Brandon has a rich cultural presence with museums, art galleries, and festivals. It is home to excellent schools, parks, and recreational facilities. Along with affordable housing options, Brandon offers opportunities for employment and entrepreneurship.

Brandon and the areas surrounding it offer an attractive option to first-time home buyers and those who want to build generational wealth over the years. Affordability can even get better if people look 15 to 20 kilometres away from Brandon. Overall, Brandon remains an affordable real estate market even though prices may increase due to high demand and continued interest from homebuyers and investors.

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