Although Winnipeg enjoys an active real estate market, the city still has affordable real estate and a variety of housing stock. Though prices in Winnipeg, much like the rest of Canada, have been on the rise, purchasing a home in the city is an achievable option. Winnipeg enjoys one of the most diverse housing markets in Canada, with homes ranging from brand new, to previously unoccupied houses to charming older homes surrounded by large trees in established neighborhoods. The price of a home varies depending on the area of the city, but all sell for well below the national average price. According to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (2007), the average selling price of a new single-dwelling home in Winnipeg is approximately $298,000. The average home sells for almost $359,000 in Calgary, approximately $801,000 in Vancouver, and over $650,000 in Toronto.
Renting a House or Apartment
There are many resources available to those interested in renting an apartment or house in Winnipeg. Both of the daily newspapers provide listings of homes and apartments for rent in the classified section as well as online at the links below:
- Winnipeg Free Press Online Classifieds
- The Winnipeg Sun Online Classifieds
In addition, the monthly published Home Renter’s Guide is available at no charge at many stores and banks in the city. The Guide provides listings of apartments, houses and condominiums for rent. The Guide also provides online listings at www.homebase.ca/.
If you have questions about the rental or leasing of properties, contact the Residential Tenancies Branch at the numbers below or visit www.gov.mb.ca/cca/rtb.
Buying a House or Condominium
Winnipeg has many neighborhoods from which to choose when looking for a home. From established neighborhoods filled with older character homes to newer developments, the city offers something for every taste. The last few years have seen the development of condominiums and townhomes throughout the city, many within the eclectic established neighborhoods of Old St. Boniface – Winnipeg’s French Quarter, Osborne Village, and Fort Rouge. As well, the Exchange District has seen the development of many loft-style condominium conversions within the historic turn-of-the-last-century warehouse buildings.
The WinnipegRealtors® has been working in the local real estate market for over 100 years providing a resource for both buyers and sellers. For more information, visit their website at www.winnipegrealtors.ca. The site provides new listings as well as links to online listings for both the Winnipeg Real Estate News and the local MLS Listings.
The Winnipeg Real Estate News is also available in print and published every Thursday. It is available throughout the city at no charge.
Property taxes vary depending on the type of home you buy, its location, and the size of the lot. Some people pay their property taxes once a year. Others pay each month, along with their mortgage. Others choose the Tax Installment Payment Plan (TIPP), through the City of Winnipeg. For more information about the TIPP Program, call (204) 986-2161, or visit the web site at: http://www.winnipegassessment.com/AsmtPub/english/howaretaxes_res.stm
Whether you rent or buy your new home, you will have to pay for utilities such as gas, electricity, water, telephone and cable television. If you rent an apartment, the cost of some of these utilities may be included in your rent. However, they are not usually included if you rent a house.
Some homes use natural gas for heat or appliances such as the clothes dryer, stove and water heater. In a rented home or apartment, the cost of the natural gas you use may be included in your monthly rent or you might be billed separately by the gas company.
The cost of natural gas is the same, whether you use Manitoba Hydro or another gas company. Some companies give their customers a rebate (money back) if the price of natural gas drops.
If you purchase a home that has a furnace, call Manitoba Hydro – Natural Gas Division or one of the other gas companies (listed in the Yellow Pages, under Gas Companies). They will tell you to read your gas meter so they can estimate your gas usage. Make sure that your service starts on the day you move in. The bill for the gas you use will be sent directly to you each month.
Manitoba Hydro, Natural Gas Division
444 St. Mary Avenue
Winnipeg MB R3C 3T1
Phone: (204) 480-5900
Web Site: www.hydro.mb.ca
Hydro or electricity is available to all properties. It is used for lights, appliances, and in some homes, heating.
If you rent an apartment, the cost of your electricity may be included in your rent, or you might be billed separately by the hydro company. If you buy a house or condominium, the electricity charges will be billed directly to you. You can ensure that you have electricity at your new residence by calling the hydro office for your area. You may be required to pay a deposit. For further information contact:
Water service and sewer systems travel through underground pipelines to homes and buildings in all Manitoba cities and many towns. Most apartment renters are not billed separately for the water they use. However, if you rent or own a house, you will receive a bill for the amount of water you use plus a sewer charge. Your bill could arrive monthly or quarterly.
Houses in some rural districts have an underground water cistern for the water supply and an underground septic tank for sewage. In this case, you must contact local suppliers to have water brought to your home by truck and to have the sewage pumped out of your septic tank and taken away. You will find lists of suppliers in your local telephone directory or from the local Municipal Office. For further information contact:
Water and Waste Department
City of Winnipeg
510 Main Street
Winnipeg MB R3B 3M1
Phone: (204) 986-5858
MTS Allstream and Shaw Communications Inc. provide telephone service in Manitoba. You may apply for service at any Phone Centre in the city. (A Phone Centre is a store operated by the telephone company.) Other competing companies also offer special long-distance rates. In rural Manitoba, call the local telephone office to apply for service.
You will have to show identification when you apply for telephone service. A driver’s license, Social Insurance Number or Manitoba Health Registration Certificate are acceptable pieces of identification. You may have to pay a deposit until you have a credit rating with the phone company. The phone company keeps the deposit for a short time. Then, if you pay all your phone bills on time, they will return the deposit to you by reducing your monthly bill by the amount of the deposit.
Your monthly bill will include a charge for using the telephone lines, the rent for your telephone, any long distance calls you make, and any other extra features you choose, such as a cellular phone. You can buy or rent a telephone.
MTS Allstream and Shaw Communications Inc. offer many different services to its customers. Visit their web sites at www.mts.mb.ca or www.shaw.ca. For information about other phone companies, look in the Yellow Pages, under Telephone Companies.
Four television stations supply free programming in Manitoba. They are CBC, CKY, Global Television, and Citytv. Shaw Cable TV and MTS TV supply additional cable television channels for a fee. Cable television is available in most cities and some towns, but is not yet available in many rural communities.
If you choose to use cable television service, contact Shaw Cable TV or MTS TV to arrange for cable installation in your home. You must pay a fee for the installation. You will receive a monthly bill for the service. Different program options have different prices. If you are renting an apartment, the cost of cable service may be included in your rent. For further information contact:
Shaw Cable TV
Phone: (204) 780-8888
Web Site: www.shaw.ca
Phone: (204) 941-4545
Web Site: www.mts.mb.ca
Every house or apartment in Winnipeg has recycling service. If you live in a house, recycling service comes to your curbside. At apartments, recycling boxes can be found outside.
Call the City of Winnipeg Recycling Program at (204) 784-9000 for more information. You can also look in the back pages of the Telephone Book, or visit their web site at www.winnipeg.ca.
Source: Government of Manitoba – Immigration and Multiculturalism