(EXCERPTED FROM JUROCK'S FACTS BY E-MAIL)
It has been difficult to make a case for investing in Winnipeg. The Manitoba capital, after all, has the same population now as it did 20 years ago, despite high immigration numbers recently. The weather (Winnipeg is the coldest city in the western hemisphere), the crime rate (tied for worst in the country), and the summer humidity and mosquitoes (terrible) don't help.
First of all are the house prices. This week Winnipeg has 193 homes priced under $125,000 on MLS, including scores under $100,000. At the $150,000 level you get newer condominiums and nice family houses. (The average MLS detached house price is $189,000; the average new house price is $300,000.)
Second is the city's apartment rental vacancy rate. According to CMHC it is 1.2%.
Third is an apparently serious attempt to improve the rundown downtown. In the past couple of years, CentreVenture Development Corp., a civic government arm, has bought up all the derelict old buildings along North Main Street. It is now spending $43 million to fix up the area over the next two years. To pay for it, the City has pledged that all taxes collected in the area will be reinvested in the neighbourhood for 10 years. As well, the downtown now has a new sports arena (though no professional hockey).
Fourth is a spike in immigration - 4,000 last year and 3,500 this year - due to a generous federal/provincial immigration program.
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