Home Sales Down So Far in 2017
Total home sales in Saskatoon year to date saw a 5% decrease with a total of 1,037 units changing hands. The month of April was also notably quiet with a total of 315 sales, a 16% decrease from 2016. Listing activity is also down by 4% compared to last year with a total of 3,038 new listings introduced to the market so far this year. Listing activity for April was also lower by 10% compared to April of 2016. Inventory levels remain quite high with a total of 1,975 active listings at the end of April. This is considerably higher than the five-year average of 1,700 units. For the last three years, there has been in excess of 1,900 homes available for sale at the end of April. It would be ideal to have around 1,500 units available for sale at this time of year. “Higher inventory levels are a great opportunity for buyers for selection and a reasonable purchase price,” says Jason Yochim, CEO of the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® “The market will eventually shift and those who waited will end up with less selection and more competition for the home they offer on” he adds.
Higher inventory levels typically mean lower prices, however, for homes priced over $600,000, there has been an increase in the number of sales which sustains the average price even with fewer sales. Even though the average price remains unchanged year over year, the median price has decreased by 1.9%. So far in 2017, there is a 65% increase in homes that sold over $600,000 with a total of 93 sales compared to 56 in 2016. In April alone there were 19 sales over $650,000 compared to just 9 last April, three of the sales were in excess of $1M. Comparatively, there is a notable decrease in homes selling below $500,000. By the end of April 2016 there was a total of 438 home sales, so far this year there are only 358. Year to date the sale of single-detached properties declined by 11% while the number of multi-family unit sales increased by 4%.
The sales to listing ratio of 37% also confirm that we are firmly in a buyer’s market. This is the lowest it has been for the month of April in over 5 years. At the current rate of sales, it would take over six months to liquidate the existing number of homes that are for sale, the five-year average for months of inventory is 4.5 months. Currently, it takes about 50 days for a home to sell in Saskatoon, just slightly longer than the 46 days of a year ago. Homes that are selling continue to realize sale prices in excess of 97% of the asking price. This underscores the importance of proper pricing in a buyers market. “A buyers market is not one for speculative selling” cautions Yochim. “Today's consumers are very well informed and with many homes to choose from are not afraid to move on if the seller is unwilling to respond to an offer at market value” he adds.
Activity in the markets surrounding Saskatoon continues to experience a decline in both sales and listing activity. A total of 249 sales at the end of April is a 14% decrease from 2016. The number of homes listed for sale for the first four months of 2017 is down by 13%. The sales to listing ratio for this market is 28% while the time it takes the average house to sell is two months. Homes are realizing sale prices of 94% of the asking price. The number of active listings for the area surrounding Saskatoon, which includes the cities of Warman and Martensville, was down 15% with 979 available properties.