Saskatoon real estate week in review: November 12-18, 2017

Saskatoon real estate sales activity softened this week as just 65 homes were reported firmly sold to the multiple listing service®, down from 72 the previous week for an annual decline of four. New listing activity fell off even more significantly. Just 103 properties were added to the MLS®, down 58 from last week, and also well below numbers recorded for the same period last year when 155 homes were listed for sale.

Reasonably decent sales, fewer new listings and 51 properties that expired without a sale all contributed to a decline in the inventory of Saskatoon homes for sale on the MLS® system. The total fell to 1868 by this morning, the lowest number we’ve recorded since the end of March when inventory numbers were on their way up. This week’s number is up 38 from where it stood at this time last year, which is the smallest year-over-year increase in six months time, and also falls out of “record” territory for the third consecutive week. Today, there are 1071 single-family homes for sale on the MLS® in Saskatoon, 36 fewer than there were a week earlier, and 84 more than were available a year ago. Condominium inventory sits at 671 for a weekly decline of nine and an annual drop of 14 units.

Interesting to me is the change to the new condo numbers over the past year. These screenshots from the October edition of CMHC’s Residential Construction Digest show that the number of “complete and unabsorbed” homes in the multi-family housing category is down just 2.1 percent from where they stood a year ago…

New construction that is completed and unabsorbed in Saskatoon at 10/31/2017.

…but, the number of multi-family homes that are under construction has fallen by 53.6 percent from where they were at this time last year.

New homes under construction in Saskatoon at 10/31/2017

So, there have been a fairly significant number of these new units absorbed over the past 12 months, and with relatively few new starts happening this year, the inventory in this category should continue to move towards more manageable levels.

Moving on.

Very strong sales at entry levels of the Saskatoon real estate market brought the weekly median sale price sharply lower this week to $290,900. That’s down about 40K from last week. With just five sales above the $500,000 mark, the weekly average price also took a solid tumble, also slipping roughly 40K from last week to $314,318. After a two week recovery that brought the six-week average price up by 13K, it slipped lower by two thousand dollars to close the week at $335,513 for an annual loss of eleven thousand bucks. The four-week average price headed lower by twenty-five hundred dollars compared to last week’s close and setting at $325,000 for a year-over-year decline of 20K.

Overbid sales were non-existent this past week as buyers clearly won at the negotiating table. While three did agree to pay the seller’s price, 62 of this week’s 65 sales were reported to have closed below the listed price netting those buyers an average discount of $13,791.

Here is a breakdown of what the sales to listing price ration looked like on this week’s sales.

List to sale price ration of homes sold through the Saskatoon MLS from November 12-18, 2017

I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions.  All of my contact info is

Canadian home sales edge up again in October 2017: CREA

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), released national sales statistics for the month of October 2017 this week. According to the CREA, “National home sales posted a modest monthly increase in October but remain below levels recorded one year ago.

Home sales via Canadian MLS® Systems edged up 0.9% in October 2017 on the heels of monthly increases in August and September, but remained almost 11% below the record set in March.

Highlights of CREA’s report

  • National home sales rose 0.9% from September to October.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity stood 4.3% below last October’s level.
  • The number of newly listed homes edged back by 0.8% from September to October.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) was up 9.7% year-over-year (y-o-y) in October 2017.
  • The national average sale price climbed by 5% y-o-y in October.

Read the entire report on Canadian MLS® sales for October, 2017.

I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions.  All of my contact info is here. Please feel free to call or email.

Norm Fisher

Royal LePage Vidorra

High inventory, softer demand and weaker prices provide ideal conditions for buyers in October 2017: SRAR

I apologize for the delay in posting the October 2017 MLS® sales and listing stats for Saskatoon. The House Price Index (HPI) numbers needed some work following an August upgrade to the MLS® system and I was not comfortable moving forward before that was completed.

A media release from the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® with an overview of residential MLS® sales and listing activity for the month of October 2017 follows. I have edited the original release for grammar, and to include the updated HPI numbers to the corrected stats, which show a year-over-year decline, as opposed to an increase that was originally reported with this release.

Conditions remain ideal for those in search of a home in Saskatoon with 1,967 city listings on the market at the end of October, plus an additional 1,022 residential properties in the regions outside of Saskatoon. This is an increase of almost 12 percent compared to the same time last year. With upcoming mortgage rule changes being introduced 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 percent in October. This means that for every ten homes listed for sale, four were successfully sold. The number of Saskatoon sales for October was 287 units. Although this was an eight percent decline compared to October 2016, it represented an increase of ten percent over September’s sales of 262. Year-to-date, by the close of October sales for Saskatoon were at 3,030 units, a 6.7 percent decrease from the same period last year. A total of 8,069 homes have been placed on the market this year in Saskatoon, down slightly from 8,217 by this time last year. 

“I expect that there may be a slight spike in sales as the year winds down,” comments Jason Yochim, CEO of the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS®. “This would be due to recently introduced mortgage qualification rules for conventional buyers plus some recent upward pressure on interest rates.” The federal government continues to address issues with overheated markets in Canada’s 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, which is unchanged from September and slightly higher compared to October of 2016 when it took 50 days. Not surprising, with higher inventory levels and declines in sales the average selling price for a home in Saskatoon continues to fall, with a year-over-year decline of 3.2 percent. It is now at $331,889. The median price, however, remained unchanged at $330,000. The MLS® Composite Home Price Index (HPI) Benchmark Price fell by just over four percent annually to $299,900. 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.

For further information, please contact:

Jason Yochim CAE, CRAE
Chief Executive Officer
Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS®

Saskatoon home sales fall significantly in September 2017: SRAR

I apologize for the delay in posting the September MLS® sales and listing stats for Saskatoon. The House Price Index (HPI) numbers needed some work following an August upgrade to the MLS® system and I was not comfortable moving forward before that was completed.

A media release from the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® with an overview of residential MLS® sales and listing activity for the month of September 2017 follows. I have edited the original release for grammar, and to include the updated HPI numbers to the corrected stats, which show a year-over-year decline, as opposed to an increase that was originally reported with this release. Please do note that I have also already added the October 2017 stats to the charts.

The Saskatoon real estate market saw a 19 percent decline in MLS® home sales in September compared to the same month a year ago. MLS® sale for September of 2016 totaled 324, compared to just 262 in 2017. Year-to-date, there have been 2,745 MLS® sales within the city of Saskatoon, an annual drop of six percent from 2016 when 2,935 homes had traded by this time. Overall, the number of sale transactions recorded by the association in Saskatoon and surrounding areas was 3,701 at the end of September compared to 3,957 by the same date in 2016. This marks a ten percent decline in dollar volume, a drop of roughly $140 million dollars.

The number of properties for sale declined by around 100 units from August to September with a total of 2,082 now on the market. The five year average for active listings 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 of the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS®. “That level would bring us closer to balanced market conditions.” By comparison, in 2007 when the market was a strong seller’s 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 sell is 55 days, just slightly above the September five year average, which is 46 days. 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 percent. A number above this range is considered a seller’s market while a one below is seen as a buyer’s market. The sales-to-listing ratio for September was 34 percent, well below the five year average of 42 percent. “In a buyer’s 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. 

This year, the average selling price of a Saskatoon home fell by 1.4 percent to $347,043. The median price also declined slightly by 2.1 percent 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, however, in the short-term this change has propped up the average price to some degree in comparison to last year. The MLS® Composite Home Price Index (HPI) Benchmark Price fell lower to $301,800, down 4.3 percent from a year ago when it was $315,400. 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. 

For further information, please contact:

Jason Yochim CAE, CRAE
Chief Executive Officer
Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS®

Saskatoon real estate week in review: November 5-11, 2017

The number of local homes that traded hands through the Saskatoon multiple listing service® bounced back this week with 72 firm deals being processed, an increase of 23 from the previous week. That was enough to top sales for the same period last year by 27 units. The number of new Saskatoon real estate listings in the residential category slipped lower to 161 for a weekly decline of nine homes, matching numbers recorded for the same week last year.

Following six weeks of slow but steady declines, the active listing inventory of Saskatoon homes grew marginally this week to 1910, up seven from last week’s close for an annual gain of just 85 properties. That’s the smallest year-over-year increase to the MLS® since the end of June. The closing number was also low enough to keep it slightly below record levels for the second consecutive week, but just barely. At the close of the same week of 2015 total active residential listings sat at 1917. A closer look by major housing types shows condo inventory sitting at 685 today, up just 11 from a year earlier. The greatest annual gains can be counted in the single-family home category which swelled to 1107 from 984 a year ago.

Slightly softer buying activity at the upper end of the market brought the median sale price of a Saskatoon home lower to $330,000. The weekly average followed along and slipped to $355,511. Meanwhile, the six-week average price took its second consecutive gain, following a pretty solid losing streak that brought it to its lowest point in the past five years. That measure moved higher by seven thousand dollars to reach $337,734 to record an annual loss of roughly eleven thousand dollars. The four-week median price fell lower to $327,500 for a weekly drop of less than 5K. That’s just twenty-five hundred dollars lower than it was a year ago.

Sellers wishing for an overbid offer were disappointed this week and not a single sale was reported to have occurred above the asking price. On the flip side of the negotiating table, 68 of this week’s 72 buyers insisted on some give from the seller to close. Those buyers netted a hefty average discount of $14,046.

Here is a breakdown of what the sales to listing price ration looked like on this week’s sales.

I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions.  All of my contact info is here. Please feel free to call or email.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Vidorra