Henry Moulin
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Saskatoon & Region

The Saskatoon housing market continued its 2019 trend toward balance last month, as REALTORS® listed fewer but sold more homes than in the previous November, reported the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® (SRAR) Wednesday.


City listings fell 16 per cent to 451 from 534, as sales jumped 20 per cent to 243 from 203. Although the average price was down three per cent, to $333,295 from $343,361, dollar volume rose 16 per cent to $81 million, up from $69.7 million.


Including the surrounding region, new listings were down 12 per cent to 694 from 791, while sales rose eight per cent to 317 from 294 for a dollar volume of $102.3 million, up one per cent from $101.7 million.


In the region alone, including communities such as Warman, Martensville and Dalmeny, new listings fell 11 per cent to 159 from 179, and sales were down nine per cent to 58 from 64. However, the average sales price rose four per cent to $314,650, up from $301,490, for a dollar volume drop of five per cent to $18.2 million.


“It’s encouraging to see strength in sales and a slight decline in listings coming to the market, to keep it balanced,” said Jason Yochim, CEO of the Saskatchewan REALTORS® Association (SRA.) All Saskatchewan REALTORS® associations will amalgamate under the SRA banner in January, 2020.


Year-to-date numbers reflect similar trends. So far this year, and with only one month to go, Saskatoon agents have listed 7,443 homes to the MLS®, down three per cent from 2018’s 7,646, and sold 3,401, up seven per cent from 3,167. Sales are also up from 2017’s 3,286.


The average sales price of $331,457 is statistically the same as last year’s, bringing the dollar volume up seven per cent to $1.1 billion, up from just over $1 billion.


In the region, 900 homes have sold so far in 2019, down five per cent from last year’s 943, and listings have fallen three per cent to 2,789 from 2,874. Dollar volume is down eight per cent to $265.5 million from $289.8 million. The average price dropped four per cent to $295,141 from $307,352.


At the end of the month, Saskatoon had 1,534 homes on the market, down 11 per cent from 1,716 at the same time last year, while the region had 947 homes, down eight per cent from 1,032.


“It’s healthy for the market to see the number of active listings continue to shrink slightly,” said Yochim. “Two years ago, we were tipping over 2,100 at the high-water mark, so 1,500 is certainly good.”


* statistics received from SRAR, Jason Yochim, CEO of SRA

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As the weather cooled in October, residential sales in Saskatoon, Prince Albert and the Battlefords warmed over last year, the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® (SRAR) reported today.


In the city of Saskatoon, sales rose seven per cent to 306, up from last October’s 285, helping to drive the dollar volume up five per cent to $97.5 million from $92.6 million. Listings also rose marginally to 599, up one per cent from 591. The average selling price fell two per cent to $318,450, down from $325,016.


Trevor Schmidt, interim CEO of SRAR, noted that the average five-year median sales price — $333,154 has not changed much over the past several years.


“This year, we’re tracking at the same level as the five-year average,” he said. “The market is neither high nor low; it has stabilized.


Another indication of stability in the Saskatoon market is the average length of time it takes to sell a home. Both in October and year-to-date, that average was 54 days.


“The five-year average is 55,” noted Schmidt. “Things have been quite stable considering what’s happened with the economy.”


“It shows the importance of using a REALTOR® to price properties according to what’s happening in the market, which helps foster a quicker sale.”


Year-to-date, 6,992 homes have been listed to the Multiple Listing Service® System (MLS®), down two per cent from 7,111 in 2018. Of those, 3,160 have sold, up seven per cent from 2,962, at an average price of $331,349 — statistically stable with last year’s $332,012. The dollar volume broke through the billion-dollar mark to $1.05 billion, up six per cent from $983.4 million last year.


In Saskatoon and area, which includes such communities as Dalmeny, Warman and Martensville, sales rose five per cent to 414, up from 393, in October. Year-to-date sales are up three per cent to 4,213 from 4,072, and also up from 4,099 in 2017.


Unit listings in the city and region fell two per cent to 889 from 904 last month, and also dropped two per cent year-to-date, ending October at 10,710, down from 10,895 in 2018. While the dollar volume was down two per cent in October, to $129.2 million from $132.4 million, the year-to-date volume is up two per cent to $1.365 billion from $1.342 billion.


The region alone saw a six per cent drop in listings, to 208 from 222, in October, and a seven per cent hike in sales to 88, up from 82 last year. Dollar volume in the region fell 13 per cent to $24.7 million from $28.5 million. The average selling price came in at $281,534, down 19 per cent from $348,038.


Active listings ended October down four per cent to 3,442 in Saskatoon and area, from 3,584 in 2018 and also down from 3,725 at this time in 2017. In the city, 1,712 listings were available, down five per cent from 1,808, and 1,020 homes were on the market in the region, down seven per cent from last year’s 1,095.


* statistics received from SRAR, Trevor Schmidt, Interim CEO of SRAR

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The first month of autumn had spring in its step as Saskatoon’s residential housing market saw increases in listings, sales and the average price, according to statistics from the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® (SRAR).

Sales rose 14 per cent to 305, up from last September’s 267 and 260 the year before, while the average price was up 10 per cent to $351,741 from $319,534. 

Those factors contributed to a 26 per cent jump in the dollar volume of sales, which came in at $107.3 million — well up from $85.3 million last September and $89.5 million in 2017.

More homeowners decided to put their properties on the market, as well, listing 717 homes, up 11 per cent from 647 last year.

“The market is really balanced right now,” said Trevor Schmidt, interim CEO of SRAR. “With the sales to listing ratio being at 43 per cent, it indicates both sellers and buyers are able to come together and get deals done. It’s a good situation for both seller and buyer.“

"If you go back six months, the market has been trending toward balance.”

Year-to-date, sales in the city are up seven per cent to 2,855 from 2,677, while listings have fallen two per cent to 6,393 from 6,520. The average price of $332,762 is practically unchanged from last year’s $332,757.

In the region surrounding Saskatoon, including the cities of Warman and Martensville, sales were down 11 per cent to 76 from 85 in September while listings rose 14 per cent to 227 from 199. The average selling price, however, was up three per cent to $302,502. Dollar volume came in at $22.9 million, down eight per cent from last year’s $25 million.

Regional year-to-date sales are down five per cent to 755 from 797, and listings are down one per cent to 2,422 from 2,454. The average price so far this year is down three per cent to $295,187 from $303,636, and dollar volume has fallen eight per cent to $222.8 million from $242 million.

At the end of September, active residential listings in the city were down two per cent to 1,896 from last year’s 1,944. Listings in the region were also down two per cent to 1,143 from 1,161.


* statistics received from SRAR, Trevor Schmidt, Interim CEO of SRAR

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Sales rise 16 per cent from same month of last year


Saskatoon — A hot, dry May brought a warmer market for Saskatoon home sellers, as sales rose 16 per cent over the same month of 2018.

City sales came in at 422 units, up from 363 last May and 420 the year before, the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® (SRAR) reported Monday. Sales are also up 10 per cent year-to-date at 1,469, up from 1,342 and 1,450 in the last two years.


“Sales have rebounded significantly this year, in large part due to an increase in condosales,” said Jason Yochim, CEO of SRAR. “Condo sales are up almost 21 per cent over
a year ago. Prices have been coming down, and they are very affordable compared to most housing types.”

Year-to-date, 449 condos have sold, as compared to 372 last year. Over the same period, single family home sales rose six per cent to 1,292, up from 1,215 last year. In May, single family home sales were up 13 per cent from last May.


As sales rose, unit listings fell three per cent to 911 in May, down from 942 in 2018 and 1,031 the previous year. Year-to-date listings are also down three per cent; so far, 3,422 homes have been listed to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) as compared to 3,536 last year and 4,055 in 2017.


The higher sales resulted in a 17 per cent dollar volume increase over last May to $140.7 million, up from $120.5 million. That’s despite a two per cent drop in the aver- age selling price, which fell to $329,595 from $334,651.

“I suspect first-time home buyers have been very active this spring based on the con- do sales,” Yochim said. “When lower-priced homes sell, it has a downward effect on the average price.”


In Saskatoon and region, including communities such as Warman, Martensville and Dalmeny, sales rose 14 per cent in May to a three-year high of 561 units. Listings fell seven per cent to 1,386, down from 1,485 and 1,553 in the previous two years. Dollar volume rose 12 per cent to $181.3 million from $162.3 million last year. Yochim said, “The sales to listing ratio was 46 per cent in May, which is approaching a balanced market.”


In the surrounding region excluding the city, dollar volume was down 13 per cent to $31.5 million from $36.3 million. Listings fell 20 per cent to 317, after two years at about 390, and sales rose eight per cent to 113, up from 105 last May. The average selling price fell 19 per cent, however, to $279,095, after posting $346,130 last May.

Year-to-date, the surrounding region has seen a three per cent decrease in dollar vol- ume at $120 million; a three per cent drop in listings, to 1,344; and unit sales of 421, up nine per cent from last year.


As of the end of May, buyers had 3,164 listings to choose from in Saskatoon and area, unchanged from last year. Of those, 1,938 are in the city proper (down from 2,001 last May) and 1,126 are in surrounding towns and regions (down from last year’s 1,164).“We’re finally seeing some stabilization in the housing market, which has been in buyers’ market territory for some time due to oversupply and lower consumer confidence,”


 
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April house sales jump 18 per cent in Saskatoon regio

April housing demand in the Saskatoon region was the strongest in three years, as sales jumped 18 per cent over the same month of 2018.


The Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® (SRAR) reported 513 sales on the MLS® system, up from 433 last April and 414 in 2017. Those sales generated a dollar volume of $169.6 million, up 12 per cent from last year’s $152 million and 14 per cent from $147 million in 2017.


Year-to-date, sales are up seven per cent to 1,440, as compared to 1,342 in 2018 and 1,368 in 2017. Dollar volume is up three per cent to $460.2 million from last year’s $447.8 million. The spring market usually brings an increase in listings, and April followed that tradition. Listings rose four per cent to 1,295, although year-to-date listings are down slightly to 3,971 from 3,989.


Compared to the 4,475 properties posted in the first four months of 2017, however, listings are down significantly.

“People came out of hibernation and said, it’s time,” said Jason Yochim, CEO of SRAR. “We’re seeing the beginning of a spring market, which is nice.”


Other factors potentially influencing the market include stable interest rates and lower prices, he added.

“There’s less inventory and people are buying what they’re finding on the market,” Yochim said. “It’s feeling more like it’s time to make that move.”


In the city of Saskatoon, the number of properties brought to market actually fell two per cent in April to 774, down from 787 last year and significantly down from the 842 listed in April, 2017.

Year-to-date, 2,511 homes have been listed, down three per cent from 2,594 in the same period of 2018. Listings in 2017 were considerably higher, at 3,024.

April sales in the city proper came in at 380, up 14 per cent from last year’s 333 and generating a 16 per cent increase in the dollar volume, to $130.4 million. That figure is up from both 2018 and 2017, when $112.7 million and $113.6 million in sales were recorded, respectively.


So far this year, Saskatoon sales are up seven per cent to 1,047, up from 978 in 2018.

The average selling price in the city increased one per cent to $343,121 in April, up from $338,438 last year. Year-to-date, the price remains down by two per cent at $327,995.


The region surrounding Saskatoon, including towns and cities such as Warman, Martensville and Dalmeny, saw a whopping 25 per cent increase in dollar volume to $31 million on 105 sales, up 36 per cent from 77 last year. The average price was down eight per cent to $295,780.

Active listings in Saskatoon as of April 30 were down three per cent to 1,778 from 1,834 last year, and up four per cent in the region, to 1,083.


Stronger sales activity was reflected in Saskatoon’s sales to listing ratio, which at 49 per cent is considered a balanced market.

“It’s an encouraging sign,” said Yochim. “A balanced market offers a good equilibrium, with a good balance of buyers and product from sellers. Depending on how long it lasts, it helps slow the decline in pricing.”

New housing starts are down considerably, which is also affecting the market. March, for example, saw a 33 per cent drop in single family home starts and a 70 per cent fall in multiple units. It will take some time before the rising demand spurs more building, because there is always a lag between an improvement in sales and starts, Yochim said.

Prince Albert and region also recorded improved home sales, which rose 25 per cent to 60 units, up from 48 last year. Dollar volume jumped 26 per cent to $12.2 million from $9.7 million last April. Listings were up a marginal two per cent, to 168 from 165. In the city itself, sales were up 41 per cent to 38.

“That’s encouraging for P.A., because the market was quite depressed for a number of months,” Yochim said.

Activity was less robust in the Battlefords region. Sales rose 17 per cent in April to 35, up from 30 last April, but dollar volume dropped 35 per cent to $5 million from $8 million. Listings, however, fell seven per cent to 138.

Every market, including the strengthening Saskatoon market, comes with its own challenges for buyers and sellers, noted Yochim.

“If you want to know how the recent changes in the market affect your individual home and needs, it’s best to contact a SRAR member. They have the knowledge, experience and objectivity to help you make good decisions about your personal circumstances.”

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Month of March - Springing Up

After a fairly strong February, the city of Saskatoon’s March housing market had spring in its step as both new listings and sales rose over last year, by five and 11 per cent respectively.

The Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® (SRAR) reported 702 listings were posted to the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®), up from 668 last March, but significantly down from 850 in 2017.

Sales jumped 11 per cent to 258, up from 233 last year but down from 308 in March 2017. At the same time, the average selling price dropped four per cent to $316,445, down from just over $328,000 a year earlier, partly due to a higher proportion of entry-level home sales below $400,000. There was also a significant decrease in the number of sales recorded between $400,000 and $450,000.  Even so, the dollar volume of homes sold increased seven per cent to just over $81.6 million, up from $76.5 million a year earlier.
 
“We’re coming into the spring market, and the degradation of prices over the last three year has made it a little more attractive out there. People do get a little bit more optimistic in the spring,” said Jason Yochim, CEO of SRAR.

“Some of that optimism may have sprung from the federal government’s recent policy announcement regarding changes to home buyers’ plan, which provides a five per cent interest-free loan on existing homes, and 10 per cent on new homes, to first-time buyers. Our industry has been lobbying for changes such as this for a long time.”
 
The Saskatoon Region, which includes smaller communities in the Census Metropolitan Area, saw a five per cent increase in listings, to 1,084 (up from 1,034 in 2017) and a four per cent increase in monthly sales, to 359 (up from 345). Listings generally begin to trend upward as March, and spring, approach.
 
Excluding Saskatoon, regional listings were flat with last March and sales fell nine per cent to 77, down from 85. The selling price dropped 12 per cent to $275,000. In 2019 so far, Saskatoon and region listings, taken together, are down two per cent to 2,675, 1,736 of those in the city proper. Sales are up two per cent to 929, up from 909 in 2018, and dollar volume has fallen one per cent to $213 million, down from $215.5 million. Active listings sat at 3,184 at the end of March, down one per cent, with 1,611 of those in Saskatoon, down four per cent.

While the 2019 market has been kinder to home sellers than in the last three years, it remains important to price properties appropriately to present conditions, said Yochim. The sales to listings ratio was 37 per cent in March, which still signifies a buyers’ market.
 
“Home sellers, not to mention buyers, can benefit from the knowledge a REALTOR® brings to a housing transaction. REALTORS® know how to help a seller arrive at a realistic price, and they are also professionals who subscribe to a strict code of ethics. They can guide sellers, and buyers, through the process, and help them make the best decisions.”
 
OTHER REGIONS
 
The spring market has had a slower start in Prince Albert and region, where listings rose four per cent to 128 (from 123 last March) and sales fell 10 per cent to 38, down from 42.  Dollar volume was down 29 per cent to $6.7 million, from $9.5 million in the same month of 2018. However, the statistics tend to appear more dramatic to the smaller size of the market.
 
It was a similar story in The Battlefords region, where listings rose five per cent to 120 units, up from 114 a year ago, and sales fell three per cent to 32. However, that was a drop of just one unit from last year’s 33 sales.  Dollar volume fell 37 per cent to $4.5 million from just over $7 million. The region did, however, see an increase in the average price of four per cent to $188,000. Dollar volume was down 22 per cent to $4.5 million.

“The market is considerably more challenged in smaller cities. Saskatoon hasn’t been affected as much on sales activity because of our diversified economy.”

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February listings drop, sales rise in Saskatoon region

Despite the very cold temperatures in February, Saskatoon and region home sellers found a little warmth as new listings dropped seven per cent and sales rose six per cent. The Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® (SRAR) reported 731 homes were listed, down from 783 in the same month of last year, while sales rose to 296 from 280. The dollar volume of homes sold through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS®) rose four per cent, to $95.8 million from $92.4 million. Year to date, listings dropped seven per cent to 1,591, sales were up one per cent to 570, and the dollar volume was down a marginal one per cent to $180.8 million.


Excluding the region, new Saskatoon listings were down 8.6 per cent in February to 478 — the fewest since 2013 — while sales held steady with last year, rising by one to 211. Months of inventory dropped to 6.7 from 7.5 last February. City homes listed to date in 2019, at 1,033, are at their lowest level in nine years. February statistics indicate a change in a market that has been declining for four years. “Sales have stabilized somewhat, and inventory levels are coming down,” said Jason Yochim, CEO of SRAR. “As an optimist, I believe and hope it will continue. However, people have to be confident that the economy is improving before committing to the purchase of a home.”


He noted that while some sectors of the economy, such as potash mining, are doing well, others are less robust.

“It’s not that people aren’t working; they are. But they won’t upgrade unless they have confidence in their situations.”

The average price in Saskatoon also recovered slightly to $338,268, up 2.3 per cent from last February. Yochim cautioned that average prices can be misleading, because the basket of sales in any given month can be very different from another. For example, if two or three high-priced homes sell, that can significantly skew the average.

A better gauge, said Yochim, is the Home Price Index (HPI), which tracks prices over time based on a benchmark determined 15 years ago.


Saskatoon’s overall HPI, including apartment-style condos, was $282,600 last month, down three per cent from last year. The most expensive category, two-storey single-family homes, was down one per cent at $356,000.

Saskatoon remains a buyers’ market, with a sales-to-listing ratio of 44; but the ratio has risen from 34 in January, for a year-to-date ratio of 40. A ratio of 50 is a balanced market, while a ratio of 60 denotes a sellers’ market.

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