The housing market in Portage la Prairie is moving somewhat slower than last year. Much of the reason for that can be placed on two things says Portage la Prairie Real Estate Board President Warren Neufeld. He says the two main factors are the increase to the interest rate as well as the mortgage stress test.
The mortagage stress test was introduced in 2016 and requires first-time home buyers to qualify for a higher interest rate so they can prove they will be able to withstand any increases. Neufeld says the problem isn’t that people aren’t qualifying.
“The financial stress test is certainly having an effect,” says Neufeld. “Not that they can’t qualify, but maybe what they qualify for is a little less than what they could qualify for a year or two ago. They can still afford homes just not the homes that they had hoped for a year or two ago.”
Neufeld notes that overall the housing market in Portage has traditionally been very stable. He indicates there aren’t many ups and downs and the ones that do happen tend to be relatively gradual compared to larger centres like Toronto and Montreal or even Winnipeg.
“Generally we just see year after year appreciation to our properties and it’s great,” adds Neufeld. “Over the long term, they’ve been wonderful investments for us. If you have any questions, sit down with your broker or your banker and have a frank conversation about what you can do and what you can’t do.”
With such a stable housing market, massive industrial investments and new businesses opening it seems like now is a great time to call Portage home.