Home sales in the Saskatoon market last month were up 8% over October of 2015. “This is a very positive change and speaks to consumer confidence in our market,” states Jason Yochim CEO with the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS®. Recent changes to lending rules by the federal finance minister were also a contributing factor in activity as buyers scrambled to beat the October 17th deadline when these changes came into effect. “Regardless of the factors leading to a sale, it is always good to see stronger sales activity.” he adds “every home sale contributes almost $50,000 of additional economic activity in the local economy.”
Strong sales in August and October of this year coupled with an overall decline in new listings has resulted in an 11% reduction in the inventory of active listings in Saskatoon. Active listings peaked at 2,047 units in June of this year and have declined steadily to 1,745 at the end of last month. This will have a positive impact in several areas. It will help maintain the average price as well as start to move the market in the direction of a seller’s market, although we’re not there yet. Total number of sales for Saskatoon year to date were 3,249 compared with 3,457 for the same period last year. The sales-to-listing ratio indicates whether we are in a buyer’s or seller’s market. It is determined by dividing the number of sales by the number of new listings for a period. A 50% ratio is considered balanced. Currently the market is at 42% which is a buyer’s market.
Another positive sign is the days of inventory which determines how long it would take to liquidate the current active listings at the current level of sales. Based on October’s numbers there is currently just over five and a half months of inventory. This is just slightly above the five-year average of five months. The overall dollar volume for the Saskatoon and surrounding market is only down 3% from last year and currently sits at just over $1.5 Billion dollars. Overall dollar volume has remained strong despite a 6% year to date reduction in sales. This is largely due to an increase in sales over $750,000. Year to date there were 51 units sold between $750-800,000 compared to 40 last year. Comparatively, sales were down 10% year to date for homes priced between $250-450,000. “There is no doubt that the recent federal change for homebuyers qualifying for a mortgage will further impact our market with an average price of $350,000” comments Yochim. “It has yet to be seen how much the impact will be.”
The good news for those selling is that sellers are realizing 97% of their asking price. Sellers who choose to list too high over the market are finding it difficult to obtain that sale. The closer the asking price is to market the tighter the offer will be to the list price.
Sound pricing and timing advice can be provided by one of the 640 professionally licensed and trained REALTOR® members of The Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS®. REALTORS® also subscribe to a strict code of ethics and are dedicated to developing professional standards and continuing education in the real estate profession.