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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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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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YTD Home Sales Down 5%

December residential home sales on the Multiple Listing Service® system (MLS® System) in Saskatoon totaled 164 transactions, 20% fewer than December of 2017 which recorded 205 residential sales. The region surrounding Saskatoon had 43 MLS® sales in December of 2018, only one less than the previous December. The total annual number of residential home sales for 2018 in Saskatoon totaled 3,329 units. This is a 5% decline compared to the total number of home transactions for 2017. This represents the fourth straight year of a decline in annual home sales in Saskatoon. By comparison there were 4,417 MLS® sales in 2014, an overall reduction of almost 25%. There was no change in the total annual sales for the surrounding region with 986 residential MLS® transactions.

The total dollar volume recorded for residential MLS® sales in Saskatoon in December was $55.6 Million, down 20% from December 2017. The total dollar volume for the entire year reached $1.108 Billion, 8% lower than 2017. The combined dollar volume for Saskatoon and region for last year was down 4% from 2017 at $1.524 Billion.

Residential MLS® listing totals for the year continued to be lower than previous years. A total of 7,956 residential listings were recorded for Saskatoon on the MLS® System in 2018. This is an 11% reduction from 2017’s total of 8,969, representing over 1,000 fewer new listings. The five-year average for new listings in a calendar year in Saskatoon is 9,081. “Even though overall sales are down, fewer new listings has helped contribute to fewer properties available to buyers in the Saskatoon market.” comments Jason Yochim, CEO of the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® (SRAR). The total number of active listings at the end of the year was 1,487, consistent with the five-year average of 1,480 available properties. The highest level of active properties was in July of 2017 when there were 2,210 active listings in the city of Saskatoon “Available properties will vary depending on neighborhood, price range and style.” cautions Yochim “some price ranges with still have a good supply to choose from while others will not. It’s important to remember that REALTORS® have the greatest access to available property” he adds. REALTORS® work in the market every day, subscribe to a strict code of ethics and are dedicated to developing professional standards and continuing education in the real estate profession. This is not the case for those who sell real estate in the province and who are not members of an association of REALTORS®. 

When it comes to home price trends, the best indicator of what is happening with home prices is the Home Price Index. The Home Price Index establishes attributes for a typical single-family home with a base value in 2005. From that starting point, changes in value are recorded over time to get a better sense of what is happening to pricing and where prices may be trending. The value for the typical single-family home in January of 2005 was $140,400. This value reached its peak in May of 2015 at $329,500. At the end of December, this value is at $307,000, down from $310,900 in November. This value is virtually unchanged from a year ago, however, it has been trending downward since the middle of 2018. For more information on HPI go to contact a member of the SRAR or visit saskatoonrealtors.ca .

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Home Sales Soften in November

The total number of residential home sales for the month of November in Saskatoon on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS®) totaled 203 units. This represents a 22% decline compared to the same month last year. The highest total for sales to the end of November was in 2014 reaching 4,203 transactions. This total has been steadily declining since with year to date sales at the lowest in ten years. At the end of last month there was a total of 3,167 residential MLS® transactions in the city, this is a 25% decline from the high of 2014. 


Total new residential MLS® listings has also been declining since 2015 when there were 9,411 by the end of November. The total number of residential MLS® listings for Saskatoon as of November 30thwas 7,646, a 12% decline compared to last year and a 19% decrease from 2015.  Total active residential listings at the end of last month was 1,716, comparable to the five-year average and slightly higher than the 10-year average of 1,388. At the current rate of sales, it would take just over 8 months to liquidate the current active listing inventory. “The months of inventory has been steadily increasing from 3.8 months in November of 2012.” comments Jason Yochim, CEO of the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® (SRAR). “Even though homes in November were selling at 96.2% of the asking price, it still took two months for the average home to sell in Saskatoon” he added. The sales to new listing ratio helps to determine if it is a sellers or buyers’ market. It is considered to be a balanced market when the ratio is at 50%, a lower percentage than this is considered a buyers’ market and above, a sellers’ market. The sales to listing ratio in Saskatoon for November was 38%, favoring buyers. 


Typically, when referencing home prices, the focus in real estate is often on the average price. The danger in this is that the average can be misleading and is easily skewed. Case in point, if there are more, higher priced homes that sell in a certain period than another comparable period, the average will be higher. The opposite could occur the following month resulting in a lower average. A better indicator of what is happening with home prices is the Home Price Index. The Home Price Index establishes attributes for a typical single-family home with a base value in 2005. From that starting point, changes in value are recorded over time to get a better sense of what is happening to pricing and where prices may be trending. The value for the typical single-family home in January of 2005 was $140,400. This value reached its peak in May of 2015 at $329,500. Currently this value is at $310,900. Even though this is up 0.8% from a year ago, it has been trending downward in the past 6 months very slightly. For more information on HPI go to contact a member of the SRAR or visit saskatoonrealtors.ca 

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Number of Listings Declining

The total number of new residential listings in Saskatoon on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS®) year to date totaled 7,111. This represents a 12% decline when compared to the same period last year with 8,065 properties listed. The total number of residential listings for Saskatoon and region year to date is 10,929, a 10% decline from last year. The individual month end totals for new listings in 2018 was down each month as well compared to 2017 totals. This decline in new listings has contributed to lower inventory levels for available properties in Saskatoon. At the end of October there was a total of 1,808 active residential properties for sale in Saskatoon and 1,095 in the regional market surrounding Saskatoon. The five-year average for active listings in Saskatoon is 1,806 while the ten-year average is 1,487. “Since 215, the Saskatoon market has experienced higher inventories of active listings, this puts downward pressure on pricing and often upward pressure on the sales to new listing ratio.”  comments Jason Yochim, CEO of the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS®. The median price of a home in Saskatoon has declined as well since 2015 as has the average price. The average residential price was $332,000 at the end of October, down 4% from a year ago and $20,000 from two years ago. Although much focus in real estate is on the average price, the average can be misleading and is easily skewed. A better indicator of what is happening with home prices is the Home Price Index. The Home Price Index establishes attributes for a typical single-family home with a base value in 2005. From that starting point, changes in value are recorded over time to get a better sense of what is happening to pricing and where prices are trending. The value for the typical single-family home in January of 2005 was $140,400. This value reached its peak in May of 2015 at $329,500. Currently this value is at $312,600 virtually unchanged from a month earlier. The Benchmark price for a typical Townhouse style property in Saskatoon was $222,900 last month, for apartment style properties, $180,100 in October. For more information on HPI go to saskatoonrealtors.ca.


Year to date, the total number of residential sales on the MLS® system in Saskatoon was 2,964, down 2% from last year. For Saskatoon and region the total number of sales was 4,074, a 1% decline from 2017. Total MLS® sales of 285 in Saskatoon for October was unchanged from the same month last year and but down 9% from October 2016. “It s encouraging to see home sales at a comparable level to last year in spite of economic challenges and the “stress test” changes to financing earlier this year.” Comments Jason Yochim, CEO with the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS®. “It would seem that sellers are recognizing the importance of expert advice from our REALTOR® members in pricing to the current market.” he adds.

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Average Home Sale Price Declining

Year to date the average price of $332,700 for a home in Saskatoon represents a decline of 4% from a year ago. By comparison in the past three years, the third quarter average price was $347,165 in 2017 and $352,103 in 2016. Although much focus in real estate is on the average price, the average can be misleading and is easily skewed. A better indicator of what is happening with home prices is the Home Price Index. The Home Price Index establishes attributes for a typical single family home with a base value in 2005. From that starting point, changes in value are recorded over time to get a better sense of what is happening to pricing and where prices are trending. The value for the typical single family home in January of 2005 was $140,400. This value reached its peak in May of 2015 at $329,500. Currently this value is at $312,200 which is the highest level for 2018 and is virtually unchanged from a month earlier. The Benchmark price for a typical Townhouse style property in Saskatoon was $219,700 last month, this is the lowest point since April of 2007 when the value was $205,300. For apartment style properties, the Benchmark value of $176,200 in September was the first increase since December of 2007 when the value was at $190,600. For more information on HPI go to saskatoonrealtors.ca 


Active listings in Saskatoon continued to shrink with year over year decline of 7%. In Saskatoon at the end of September there were 1,944 active listings compared to 2,082 a year ago. Active listings are higher in the region surrounding the city which includes the cities of Martensville and Warman. At the end of September there were 1,161 available properties compared to 1,086 for the surrounding area. The decline in available properties is mostly attributable to an overall decline in new listings coming on the market. Year to date, there were 6,521 properties listed in the city of Saskatoon, a decline of 11% compared to 2017. In the month of September, there were 648 new listings in Saskatoon. By comparison in September of 2017 there were 767 new listings and 779 in 2016. “It seems that sellers who are not highly motivated are choosing to wait until conditions are more favourable to sell.” Comments Jason Yochim, CEO with the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS®. “Currently we are in a buyers market with elevated levels of inventory and downward trending prices for most properties.” He adds.


In the month of September there were 268 residential sales on the MLS®. This is similar to September of 2017. The total number of sales for the first three quarters of 2018 was 2,679, a 5% decline from last year. By comparison, in the first three months of 2016, there were 2,935 sales in the city of Saskatoon.

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Active Listings Continue Decline


For the seventh straight month this year, the number of active listings in the market was down year over year. At the end of August there were 2,019 active residential listings in the city of Saskatoon, a decline of 8% from a year ago. Of the active listings, approximately 1,227 are single family while just over 780 fall under condominium ownership. The decline in active listings is largely due to a decline in homes listed year over year. To date, a total of 5,875 residential properties have been listed in Saskatoon on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®), down 11% compared to the end of August last year. “In a slower market, one typically sees fewer speculative sellers than in a hot market” comments Jason Yochim, CEO with the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® “It’s important to bear in mind that homes sell in all markets. If a seller needs to sell then they must be sure to have good advice and price to the current market conditions.” adds Yochim.

In the month of August there were 329 residential sales on the MLS®. This is on par with August of 2018 and just lightly below the five year average of 352 sales for August. Year to date there have been 2,411 residential MLS® sales in Saskatoon, of these 1,751 are single family properties, unchanged compared to the first eight months of last year. On the other hand, there were 648 condominium at the end of last month, 11% fewer than last year.

Year to date residential MLS® sales between $200 - 300,000 totaled 657 transactions, down from 707 a year ago. The number of homes that sold between $350-750,000 on the MLS® year to date was also down by just over 100 sales from 1,036 transactions in 2017. So far in 2018, a total of 41 properties have sold in excess of $750,000 in Saskatoon, on par with last year.

The Home Price Index (HPI) Value for single family residential home sales in Saskatoon increased slightly from July to $312,200. The HPI measures the change in value over time for a typical single family home with a standard set of attributes. This rate of change reports similar to the Consumer Price Index and is the most accurate indicator of home pricing. The HPI value for townhouse style residences declined for the month to $225,200, down from $234,400 in July. Benchmark pricing for apartment Style condominiums continue to decline for the eighth straight month. For more information on HPI go to saskatoonrealtors.ca . Year-to-date, the average sale price was $334,226, a 4% decrease from the same period last year. Average prices can be misleading as outlier sales can skew the average sale value one way or the other over a short period of time. This is why the median price of HPI value is a better indicator of the market.

Last month, the average home in Saskatoon took 52 days to sell in Saskatoon. The five year average for days to sell in the month of July is 50.4 days.

REALTORS® subscribe to a strict code of ethics and are dedicated to developing professional standards and continuing education in the real estate profession. This is not the case for those who sell real estate in the province and who are not members of an association of REALTORS®.

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Home Listings Down Year to Date

  

Fewer home owners seem ready to put their home on the market this year compared to last. In May, a total of 943 properties were added on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in Saskatoon representing a 9% decrease from last May. Year to date there were 13% fewer homes listed year to date in Saskatoon.

 

The total number of active listings in Saskatoon at the end of May was 2,001, just slightly above the five year average of, 1,945 units. “Typically we see the highest number of active listings between May and September.” comments Jason Yochim, CEO with the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS®, “It’s the most active time in our market largely due to favorable weather.” He adds. Inventory levels for active MLS® listings reached an all-time high in July of last year with 2,210 homes for sale in Saskatoon. At the current rate of sales it would take five and a half months to liquidate the current stock of active listings. 


In May there were 364 home sales, a decrease of 13% from last May. Year-to-date sales for Saskatoon are down 7% with a total of 1,345 residential MLS® home sales. Home sales so far this year have declined in every price range with the exception of homes under $200,000 which saw a 30% increase for a total of 203 sales. The price range with the greatest decline in sales were homes priced between $450-500,000 with a year-to-date total of 85 sales, a 17% drop from last year. Homes selling between $750,000 and $1M are on par with last year at 19 sales. Homes in excess of $1M however are off sharply with three MLS® sales year to date. In 2017, there were three home sales in May alone over $1M and nine year to date.

The sales to listing ratio has decreased from 43% in April to 39% in May. The sales to listing ratio is a comparison of the number of sales for a period of time to the number of new listings. “Saskatoon remains a buyer’s market. However, homes that are priced to market and in good condition will still command great interest and in some cases competing offers.” comments Yochim. Last month, the average home in Saskatoon took 47 days to sell in Saskatoon last month, this is the lowest time to sell so far this year.

Year-to-date, the average sale price was $334,449, a 4% decrease from the same period last year. Since averages can be misleading, a better reflection of the market is the median. The median home sale price year to date is $320,000. The five year average for median residential home sale prices in Saskatoon is $341,980.

The Home Price Index Composite Benchmark Price (HPI) continued in an upward trend for most home types (except apartment style) again in May. The HPI is the most accurate indicator of where home prices are trending. For more information on HPI go to saskatoonrealtors.ca .

REALTORS® subscribe to a strict code of ethics and are dedicated to developing professional standards and continuing education in the real estate profession. This is not the case for those who sell real estate in the province and who are not members of an association of REALTORS®.

 

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Spring Home Sales Show Positive Increase 

Residential home sales in Saskatoon were 6.7% higher than April of last year with 335 units selling last month. This represents a third of home sales in Saskatoon so far this year. Although the year to date sales for the first four months of 2018 is down 4.8% over the same period in 2017, last month’s increase in sales helped to close the gap. The increase in April sales also was a welcome reversal of a two month trend of declining sales for February and March. Unit sales for April showed increases for homes priced under $350,000. Of the 202 sales in April under $350,000, 73 were condominiums. Homes that sold between $400,000 and $450,000 showed a 30% increase in sales in April over the same month last year with 39 sales. Homes that are properly priced in that entry level have been seeing competing offers in many cases.

Also of note, year to date there have only been two residential sales over $1M in Saskatoon compared with six for the first four months in 2017. The number of active residential properties for sale in Saskatoon at the end of April was 1,834 units. This is consistent with the five year average of 1,830. This is largely due to a decrease in the number of new listings brought to the market. The number of new listings for the first third of 2018 was 2,594 compared to 3,024. This represents more than a 14% decline year over year.

The sales to listing ratio increased to 43% from 37% a year ago. The sales to listing ratio is a comparison of the number of sales for a period of time to the number of new listings. Although the sales to listing ratio is moving towards balance,  we are still in a buyer’s market. The increase in this ratio in April was largely due to the 6.5% reduction in new listings and the comparative 6.7% increase in sales. Last month, the average home in Saskatoon took 53 days to sell compared with the five year average of 47 days. 

The average sale price saw its first increase this year by 1.75% to $318,729 in April. For the first quarter of 2018, the average home sale price in Saskatoon was $333,826. Since averages can be misleading, a better reflection of the market is the median. The median home sale price increased slightly from March to $320,000. The five year average for median residential home sale prices in Saskatoon is $332,650. 

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Home Inventory Levels Declining

A year over year decline in home sales and new listings in February contributed to a declining availability of homes in the Saskatoon market. At the end of last month there was a total of 1,588 active residential listings in Saskatoon. This represented a 4% decline from a year ago when there were 1,659 properties available. Although the number of sale transactions in February, 211, represented a 6% decline from the same month last year, strong sales in January helped the overall sales year to date to remain 1% ahead of last year. Year to date, a total of 413 residential sales have been recorded on the MLS® in the city of Saskatoon. In February, REALTORS® in Saskatoon listed a total of 1,159 residential properties, this is a 14% decline compared to last February’s number of 1,332.


In February of 2016, a total of 1,410 homes were listed for sale. The number of transactions that occurred in Saskatoon was 203 units which represents an 11% increase over January of 2017. The overall dollar volume for home sales in Saskatoon was just under $70 million which is a 6% decline from last February. The year to date total volume of transactions is unchanged from last year at $139 million. Year to date sales in the region surrounding Saskatoon, which includes the cities of Warman and Martensville, totaled 122 units representing a 14% increase. The overall dollar volume for this surrounding market was just under $39.5 million for the first two months of the year, an increase of 12% compared to last year. “For the past couple of years inventory levels have hovered around 2,000 available properties.” Comments Jason Yochim, CEO with the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® (SRAR) “It is definitely a positive trend to see inventory levels shrinking, this is helpful for slowing price decline.” he adds. The average sale price for a home in Saskatoon slipped 1% in February.

The Home Price Index (HPI) composite benchmark value declined only very slightly in the last 30 days to $292,800. Although this is its lowest point since February of 2012 the decline in the composite price appears to be slowing. With the exception of a couple of months in the spring of last year, the HPI composite value has been in an overall decline since August of 2016 when the value was $317,600. 

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Housing Sales Up Over January 2018

January home sales in Saskatoon are off to a positive start in 2018. The number of transactions that occurred in Saskatoon was 203 units which represents an 11% increase over January of 2017. The five year average for January is 194 units. Last month’s sales activity also resulted in an increase in the overall dollar volume of 10.5% to $90,673,143 representing the highest dollar volume for January since 2014. Sales in the region surrounding Saskatoon, which includes the cities of Warman and Martensville showed a 27.5% increase with 65 transactions and an 11.7% increase in dollar volume at $18,049,600.

“While it is still very early in the year, the past three months have shown trends of increasing sales for Saskatoon, which is certainly a positive sign after many months of lower sales.” according to Jason Yochim, CEO with the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® (SRAR) “It is good to see inventory levels shrinking as well which will help with upward pressure on pricing in time.” he adds.

The average and median home price in Saskatoon in January also increased. The average sale price for a home in Saskatoon was $344,771, up 1% from last January, while the median price increased by 4.1% to 330,000. Significant increases in the number of homes selling in the higher price ranges contributed to these upward pricing changes. Overall the number of sales between $400,000 and $1M increased by 45% with 64 sales. The number of homes that sold in January between $500,000 and $750,000 made up just over a third of the 64 transactions. The number of home sales between $200,000 and $300,000 remained strong and consistent with last January at 56 transactions. Many of these would be multi-family sales which helps to absorb inventory in that sector of the market.

The Home Price Index (HPI) composite benchmark value declined by 4.1% in January to $293,300, its lowest point since February of 2012.

With the exception of a couple of months in the spring of last year, the HPI composite value has been in an overall decline since August of 2016 when the value was $317,600. “If inventory levels continue to decline due to absorption and fewer properties being listed, home prices should expect to see some increase later in the year.” predicts Yochim. The number of active listings in Saskatoon at the end of January was 1,529, the lowest level in the past three years for January and a 4% reduction from last year. This was aided by the increase in sales and a 14% decline in the number of new listings for January.

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Home Sales Increase in December

Home sales of 205 units in Saskatoon, was up 11% in December when compared to the same month in 2016. Sales activity in the area surrounding Saskatoon saw a 13% increase for December. This increase in activity could be partially attributed to the mortgage rule changes for conventional buyers that took effect January 1st 2018. Home buyers with 20% or more down payment now have to qualify at an interest rate that is 200 basis points higher than the posted rate, or the Bank of Canada’s five-year rate, whichever is higher. Listing activity on the other hand, declined dramatically with an 18% reduction in new listings for December year over year. “This decrease in listing activity could be the result of seller’s fatigue from having been on the market for an extended time period without securing an offer.” according to Jason Yochim, CEO with the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® (SRAR) “The increase in December sales and decline in hew listings is a positive for decreasing high inventory levels” he adds.

The year to date story for 2017 however is one that indicates a slower market overall when compared to 2016. The overall sales volume recorded by the SRAR was just short of $1.6 Billion for the year representing a 9% decrease from 2016. This is the third straight year of decline since the $2.1 Billion market peak realized in 2014. Home sales of 3,491 units in Saskatoon for 2017 represented a 5% decline from 2016. This is significantly lower than the five year average of 3,957 sales. In 2017 there was a total of 8,972 homes listed for sale in the Saskatoon market representing a 3% decline from the year previous. The sales-to-listing ratio for the year was 35%, which is a ratio of the number of sales for the year when compared to the number of new listings. In other words, roughly a third of the homes listed for sale ended up actually selling. The number of days on market for a home in Saskatoon in December was 61. This was a sharp increase from 51 in December of 2016 as well as the five year average of 52 days.

Not surprisingly, with lower sales and still a large inventory of homes to choose from, home prices continued to see downward pressure. The median price for a home in Saskatoon declined by 3.3% in December to $324,000 while the average price showed a half point decline to $339,520 for the month. The Home Price Index (HPI) composite benchmark value declined by 3.7% in December to $295,100, its lowest point since March of 2012. The HPI composite value has been in an overall decline since August of 2016 when the value was $317,600.

“Successfully selling a home in this current market requires more that information” comments Yochim “Sellers need the guidance to understand how historical sales data impacts their pricing decision.” 

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November Home Sales Increase

Home sales in Saskatoon for the month of November were up 7% compared to November of 2016 with a total of 257 residential sales. This increase could be attributed to ideal conditions for home buyers combined with impending mortgage rule changes slated for January that will affect conventional borrowers. The year to date sales however, reflected a 6% decrease with 3,287 transactions. Homes that sold between $300-500,000, made up 1,606 of the year to date sales, or roughly half of the residential sales. Although homes in this price range are the most active segment of the market place, activity in this range has declined by nearly 12% compared to the first eleven months of 2016. Sales activity for homes that sold between $750-1,000,000 remained unchanged compared to last year with a total of 45 units. Homes that sold in excess of $1,000,000 was slightly down year over year with 14 sales compared to 16 in 2016.

Home sales in the market surrounding Saskatoon showed a significant bump in activity in November with 71 transactions, or a 22% increase from November 2016. Of these sales, 34 occurred in the cities of Martensville and Warman in November, compared to 26 last November. Inventory levels also continue to be elevated in the areas and cities in the Saskatoon region where there was 926 available properties for sale at the end of November.

The number of active residential listings that were on the market at the end of November was 1,826, 8% higher than last year. The number of new listings added to the market in November was 583 compared to 652 in the same month last year. The sales to listing ratio compares the number of sales for the month, relative to the number of new listings. The sales to listing ratio for Saskatoon in November was 44.4%. In November it took an average number of 58 days for a home to sell in Saskatoon. “If you are looking for a home, this is an ideal time with plenty of selection in most price ranges and areas as well as low interest rates” comments Jason Yochim, CEO with the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS®, “As for sellers who need to sell, they need to have a true sense of the market and price accordingly to sell within the average number of days.” He adds.

The average price continued to decline.  The MLS® Composite Home Price Index (HPI) Benchmark Price continued its steady decline for several months, down by 4.05% from a year ago. The Composite HPI measures the rate of change in a benchmark price for a typical home and is the most accurate indicator of pricing direction in a market.

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Buyers Market Continues

Conditions remain ideal for those in search of a new home in Saskatoon. There was a total of 1,967 active listings at the end of October in Saskatoon plus an additional 1,022 available residential properties in the region outside Saskatoon. This is an increase of almost 12% in active residential listings compared to the same point last year. With upcoming mortgage rule changes in the new year, relatively low interest rates and more available homes, this is an ideal time for buyers to tie up that purchase. The sales to listing ratio for Saskatoon was just over 40% in Saskatoon in October. This means that for every 10 homes that were listed, four were successfully sold. The number of sales for October in Saskatoon was 287 units. Although this was an 8% decline compared to October 2016, it represented an increase of 10% over Septembers sales of 262. Year to date sales for Saskatoon a the end of last month were 3,030 units which is a 6.7% decrease for the same period last year. Year to date a total of 8,069 home were placed on the market in Saskatoon, down slightly from 8,217 the previous year. “I expect that there may be a slight spike in sales as the year winds down” comments Jason Yochim, CEO with the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS®, “this would be due to recently introduced mortgage qualification rules for conventional buyers plus a sense of upward pressure on interest rates.” The federal government continues to address issues with overheated markets in Canadas two largest cities. These rule changes however affect local real estate markets much differently.

The average days on market for a home in Saskatoon was 54 days which is unchanged from September and slightly higher when compared to October of 2016 where it took an average of 50 days to sell. Not surprising, with higher inventory levels, and declines in sales, the average selling price for a home in Saskatoon continues to decrease, with a year over year decline of 3.2% to $331,889. The Medan price however remained unchanged at $330,000.  The MLS® Composite Home Price Index (HPI) Benchmark Price increased by 5.1% to $328,600. The Composite HPI measures the rate of change in a benchmark price for a typical home and is the most accurate indicator of pricing direction in a market. This increase would suggest that in spite of a decline in the average home price, the trend is moving upward for home prices.

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September Home Sales Decline


The Saskatoon real estate market saw a 19% decline in MLS® home sales in September compared to a year ago. Total MLS® sales for September of 2016 totaled 324 compared to just 262 in 2017. The year-to-date total of 2,745 MLS® sales in Saskatoon, is a 6% reduction compared to 2,935 MLS® sales for 2016. Overall, the entire number of sale transactions recorded by the association in Saskatoon and region at the end of September was 3,701 units compared to 3,957 in 2016. This translates to a 10% decline in dollar volume or roughly $140 Million dollars. The number of available properties for sale declined by around 100 units from August to September with a total of 2,082 available properties on the market. The five year average for active listings on the market is 1,797 units. “Ideally it would be nice to see the number of active listings around that five year average or lower” comments Jason Yochim, CEO with the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS®, “that level of inventory would bring us closer to balanced market conditions.” By comparison, in 2007 when the market was a strong sellers’ market with escalating home prices, there was an average of just over 400 active listings through the year. Ten years later that average is just under 2000 active listings.   

The average length of time for a home to sit on the market is 55 days, just slightly above the five year average for days to sell in September which is 46. The sales to listing ratio is a comparison of the number of sales for the month relative to the number of new listings taken. It is considered to be a balanced market when this ratio falls between 40-60%. A percentage above this range is considered sellers’ market while a percentage below is considered a buyers’ market. The sales to listing ratio for September is was 34%, well below the five year average of 42%. “In a buyers’ market with elevated inventory levels it is critical to understand pricing and to properly prepare your home to compete against other homes in your price range.” cautions Yochim.   

The average selling price for a home in Saskatoon for the year decreased by 1.4% to $347,043. The median price also declined slightly by 2.1% to $327,900. In July of this year the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® elected to remove lot sales from the aggregate number of home sales to give a more accurate picture of pricing. This change has helped to support the average price to some degree in comparison to last year.  The MLS® Composite Home Price Index (HPI) Benchmark Price increased by 3.6% to $326,700, up 3.6% from a year ago. This increase is also impacted by the removal of lot sales from the total sales volume. The Composite HPI measures the rate of change in a benchmark price for a typical home and is the most accurate indicator of pricing direction in a market.

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Buyer’s Market Continues

 

A slight decline in home sales year over year, low interest rates and stable home prices coupled with elevated inventory levels, continues to make Saskatoon an ideal market for home buyers. At the end of August there were 2,183 active listings in Saskatoon, just slightly down from the record set last month. “In the coming months, home buyers will look back with hindsight and realize how opportune the market was with all of these elements in place.” According to Jason Yochim, CEO with the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® “It is only a matter of time before the market shifts as it always does.” The concern is that buyers waiting for the bottom of the market in order to make a purchase, may end up paying more when buying on the upswing.

The average home is taking approximately 55 days to sell which is the greatest number of days in the past several years. The five year average for days to sell in August is 46. Homes that have been priced relative to this market will see a sale in much less time. The sales to listing ratio compares the number of new listings against the number of sales for the month. In August, the sales to listing ratio was 41% which is consistent with the past three months. This means that for every five home listed there are two sales. The sales to listing ratio year to date was 37.7% which is down 3.5% compared to 2016. Furthermore, based on the current level of home sales, it would take between six and seven months to clear out the active listings, this is above the five year average of just over five months.

Two thirds the way through the year, Saskatoon and area saw a total of 3,344 transactions, down 5% from last year. The total number of homes listed for sale, year to date, was 9,904 which is virtually unchanged from 2016. The total dollar volume for Saskatoon and region year to date was $1,139 billion, down 9% from the same period last year. Within the Saskatoon market, the number of transactions year to date was 2,484 representing a 5% decline from the same period last year.

With lots to choose from ,the average and median price continue to show signs of slipping. The average price year to date declined by 1% to $347,414 while the median price declined by 1.5% to $329,950. Considering the challenging economy, high supply of housing and a softened demand, pricing has not been dramatically impacted so far. “Pricing of a home is one of the most important decisions in a successful sale.” Comments Yochim, “REALTORS® are the most informed when it comes to knowing the market for a specific property at a specific time.” he adds. 

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Home Sales Soften in July 


The warm weather in July appears to have taken some of the purchasers out of the Saskatoon market with a monthly decline in unit home sales of 16% compared to July of 2016. The year to date unit sales are down nearly 4% for Saskatoon compared to the first seven months of last year. Sales in the region surrounding Saskatoon increased just over 17% for the month compared to last July, while the year to date numbers declined slightly by 2.6%. Year to date there have been a total of 2,155 unit sales within Saskatoon and another 596 in the region surrounding the city. The total dollar volume recorded for Saskatoon and region year to date is $989 Million off 5% from last year.

The number of active listings in Saskatoon has reached a new peak at 2,210 with an additional 1,125 properties available in the market outside Saskatoon. At the current rate of monthly sales it would take just over seven months to liquidate the current inventory completely. The average home is taking approximately 50 days to sell which is consistent with the past two July’s. The homes that are selling are seeing a sale price that is at 96.7% of the asking price. “These stats would indicate to me that those who are serious about selling are pricing to market and getting very close to their asking price and in much less time than the current 50 day average.” According to Jason Yochim CEO with the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS®.

The number of listings taken year to date in the Saskatoon and region market is consistent with last year at 8,693. In Saskatoon there have been 5,795 properties listed since January 1st, very similar to numbers for the past two years.

Prices continue to show signs of slight decline as well. The average sale price in July of 2017 was 6.4% lower than July of 2016. Year to date, the average price has slipped from $351,855 to $348,960. The median price year to date also decreased slightly from $335,000 to $329,500. The Composite Home Price Index (HPI) benchmark price for July declined by 2.2% compared to last July. The HPI is considered to be the best indicator of the trend in home prices and measures the rate of change month over month. “Based on the theory of supply and demand it is reasonable to expect that prices are not likely to strengthen until the number of active listings declines.” comments Yochim. “It is important to remember that these changes in pricing are an aggregate of the entire market and will vary based on area, type of home and availabilty of similar properties to the subject. Access to this information is critical to accurate pricing and can be obtained through consultation with one of our members.”

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Competitive Market for Some Home Sellers

At the halfway point in the year, housing sales reflect that of the year to date total in 2016 with 1,850 unit sales in Saskatoon. The average sale price of $350,000 is virtually unchanged as well from a year ago. Also, the median price year to date at $330,000 is comparable to that of last year. Helping to sustain these price indicators is a notable increase (25%) in home sales over $600,000 which is offsetting a decline (3%) in sales below $600,000, as of June 30th. The total number of sales over $600,000 in Saskatoon was 101 units of which 90 were single family homes. Comparatively there were 1,765 transactions at the end of June below $600,000. The number of condominium units sold so far this year was 533 units representing a 5% increase over last year. With the mortgage qualification changes implemented last October, some buyers had to shift their purchase decision from single family to condominium to fit a reduced purchase price. The total dollar volume for Saskatoon and area of $846M is the lowest year to date total since June of 2011. The highest dollar volume reached for the midpoint of the year was June of 2014 at $1.1B.

Much has been said about the number of homes available in Saskatoon. Currently there are still over 2,100 active listings in Saskatoon. This amount of available homes would take just over five months to liquidate at the current rate of sales. This amount of active property also means that we are still firmly in a buyers’ market with a sales to listing ratio of 41%, comparable to last June but below the five year average of 50%. In the overheated market of 2007 there were only 375 active listings and a sales to listing ratio of an incredible 79%. This was at a time when Saskatoon’s population was around 210,000 residents for a per capita of one active listing for every 560 residents. In 2012 this increased to 1,254 active listings and a population of 239,420 for a per capita of one listing for every 190 residents. Saskatoon’s current population of 268,158 equates to one active listing for every 125 people.

On average it takes 45 days to sell a home in Saskatoon. This is the lowest days on market average for any month in 2017. “Average days on market can be misleading as well.” cautions Jason Yochim, CEO with the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS®. “If homes are properly priced in any price range and in any market condition, they can easiiy see an offer in much less time.” The key is to get sound advice on the current market for each specific home. “Our REALTOR® members are market experts who are objective and can guide a seller in this critical decision.” he adds.

The market surrounding Saskatoon had a year to date decline in sales of 11% with a total of 456 transactions. Active listings in this market at the end of June were 1,112 which is a 4% decline over last year.

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Competitive Market for Some Home Sellers

Home sellers need to put forward their best efforts when pricing and presenting their home for sale in any market but especially now with a total of 2,112 active listings in Saskatoon. This is the highest number of homes for sale eclipsing the peak of 2,081 in June of 2015. “Pricing is the most important decision a seller can make, especially in a buyers’ market.” advises Jason Yochim, CEO with the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS®. “This is something that requires the assistance of an objective and educated REALTOR® to reflect the market.” Of these, just under 1,300 are single family homes and about 850 are condominiums with close to 500 of these apartment style. Additionally, 350 of the apartment style condominiums are priced between $150-350,000, making this a very competitive segment of the market. With 848 single family homes priced between $250-500,000, there is a lot of choice for buyers who are being selective on what they want and what they want to pay. Homes priced over $500,000 total 278 available properties with 76 of these in excess of $750,000. The MLS® system saw 1,035 new listings for Saskatoon in May, a 7% increase over last May, and the highest number of new listings recorded in a single month.

In May there were 423 sales in Saskatoon representing a 7% increase compared to last May. So far year to date the total number of sales is down 2% at 1,459 units. Price ranges between $250-500,000 showed positive increases to the number of sales year over year. In 2016. In May of 2017 there were 358 sales in this price range compared to 329 last May. There was a 13% decrease in the number of sales priced between $500-750,000 in May of 2017. Year to date there were 12 sales in excess of $1,000,000 in Saskatoon. Six of these sales were single family homes, two were bare land condo units at the Willows and one sale was a downtown apartment unit. The home that sold for the most so far this year was $2,000,000.

The average number of days required to sell a home in Saskatoon is 48 days. The five year average for May is about 41 days. Based on the number of sales that occurred in May and the number of homes available on the market, it would take 5 months to liquidate the current inventory of properties for sale. The average selling price continues to remain stable at $$349,000. The median sale price also remains relatively unchanged year to date at $329,250. Although the total MLS® dollar volume was up 11.5% when comparing this May 2017 to last, the year to date dollar volume is down 1.3% at $670,000,000.

The market surrounding Saskatoon showed an increase in sales of 10.4% in May, however year to date sales in that market were down 8%. The average selling price for this area is up 7% year to date at $331,450. This market includes the cities of Warman and Martensville as well as other surrounding communities and acreage property.  .

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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.

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