Don’t let the cold winters scare you away from Winnipeg real estate. The city is ranked as Canada’s second sunniest city, making its long winters if not pleasant, then at least bearable. But it’s Winnipeg’s diversified economy, which includes jobs in finance, manufacturing, culture, transportation, government and retail that make the city a good place to buy. According to the Conference Board of Canada, Winnipeg had the third-fastest growing economy among Canada’s major cities in 2009, and the last four years have seen it experience a construction boom. All those new jobs have kept the unemployment rate at just 5.4%, even during the economic hard times of the past two years. “Our trades schools are jammed because of a huge shortage in trades people,” says David Smith, manager of Sutton Group-Kilkenny Real Estate. “There’s lots of confidence here and we’re starting to get some bidding wars on our real estate.” For now, home prices remain largely affordable with an average price of $214,000. But the population has surged 3.54% over the last four years, and as it keeps going up, house prices are likely to rise too.