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TeamFisher’s Saskatoon Real Estate Blog is in the process of a move.

Effective immediately, all new postings will be found on the TeamFisher domain at http://teamfisher.com/blog.html

Moving is hard and it’s going to take some time to lug all of the past content across the internet but we are working on that now.

Thank you again for reading out blog.

January homes sales soften slightly from same month last year: SRAR

The Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® (SRAR) released the residential real estate statistics for January 2010 today, accompanied by this release.

Saskatoon REALTORS® assisted 179 homebuyers with the purchase of a home during January of 2010. This number was down 16% from January 2009 when 212 homes changed hands.

The average residential selling price was $270,191 down 3% from January 2009, which had an average residential selling price of $ 278,939. The average selling price declined slightly due to the increased number of sales in the $ 250,000 to $275,000 price range. This price range had the highest number of unit sales in January.

Inventory levels continued to correct in the month of January with fewer listings being taken. REALTORS® listed 394 residential properties, down 23% from January 2009 when 512 properties were listed for sale. Home buyers had 736 homes to select from at the end of January as compared to the same time last year when 1156 homes were available for sale. January’s number is up slightly from December 2009 when 703 properties were available for purchase.

The residential dollar volume of $48,364,000.00 was down 18% due to lower sales numbers and increased activity in the mid price range of homes. Dollar volume is expected to increase significantly as the year 2010 progresses.

The real estate market in areas surrounding Saskatoon was very active. Unit sales were up 17% in January with 34 units selling as compared to 29 units selling in the same month last year. The average selling price was $214,976 up 5% from January 2009 when the average selling price was $204,166. January dollar volume was $7,309,200 up 23% from January 2009.

The real estate market is expected to remain steady for the first quarter of this year. Days to sell in January were 38 days on average within the city limits and 59 days in areas surrounding the City of Saskatoon. Consumer confidence remains high, interest rates are low, both factors contributing to a healthy real estate market.

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 Saskatoon Real Estate

Saskatoon real estate week in review: January 25-29 2010

Following a few weeks of sales that were softer than expected and listing activity that appeared to be escalating both of those short-term trends reversed directions.

Saskatoon real estate agents reported a total of sixty-three single-family home and condominium sales to the local MLS system, an increase of eighteen properties over last week and a gain of seventeen when compared to the same week last year. Each of the previous few weeks recorded year-over-year declines in unit sales for the Saskatoon area.

New listings in the same categories plummeted dropping by more than half of the previous week’s volume to finish roughly thirty percent behind the same week in 2009 as just fifty-eight homes were offered for sale.

After three consecutive weeks of gains that saw total active residential listings climb by about one hundred and thirty properties, inventory levels softened slightly and slipped to 734 homes. That number is down from 751 last week, and well off of the 1,134 homes available at this time last year, but still more than double the number of homes for sale at this time in 2008 when levels reached historical lows for the month of January. There are currently 412 single-family homes for sale and 281 condos, down from 416 and 290 respectively at the close of the previous week.

In single-family homes, inventory remains tightest in the $200,000-$300,000 range where you’ll find a total of eighty-six houses showing a for sale sign. With January sales at forty-six units, there’s a little less than a two-month supply. Conversely, house buyers have some serious options above the $400,000 mark with just nineteen sales in January and 180 properties available.

In Saskatoon condominiums, you’ll see similar supply trends in the same price ranges.  Between 200K and 300K, we see twenty-seven January sales compared to eighty-one active listings. Above $400,000 there is a selection of forty-three units but not single sale recorded during the month of January.

Just seven MLS® listings were cancelled or withdrawn from the multiple listing service this week and not one of them returned disguised as a new listing. An additional sixteen home sellers adjusted their asking price, with all but three moving lower.

After reaching their lowest point in nearly a year average sale prices continued to push up for the second consecutive week reaching levels more typical of the Q3/2009 action. In spite of the upward direction that the average took the year-over-year gains that we’ve been seeing over the past seven weeks vanished. The average sale prices for Saskatoon houses and condos hit $290,133 this week, a gain of nearly $20,000 over the previous week but pretty much level with the same week in 2009. The six-week average managed to slip about a thousand dollars on a week-over-week basis but remained about two thousand dollars higher than it was last year at this time. The four-week median climbed two thousand dollars from last week but finished lower than the same week last year by six thousand dollars.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

The average underbid jumped back from the low $7,341 of last week to $11,280. Buyers who managed to negotiate a discount off of the asking price saw an average price drop of 3.6%, up from the unusually low 2.4% recorded last week.

Four sellers managed to wrap up a deal above the asking price with the average sale recorded at $3,550 above list.

Saskatoon real estate statistics from the Week in review - January 25-29 2010

Highlights from the news this week

An interest rate hike this summer?
Canada home prices rise for seventh consecutive month
How much do your neighbours owe on their mortgage?
Real estate sales likely to moderate (BC)
Saskatoon housing “seriously unaffordable”
Saskatchewan forecast to lead nation in growth
Job prospects remain positive (Saskatoon and Regina)

A map displaying the boundaries of Saskatoon real estate areas is here.
An overview of data collection and calculation practices for our statistical reports is here.

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.

Our Saskatoon home search tool offers MLS listings represented by all real estate brands, presented with more detail than you’ll find anywhere else. Check it out here.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate

Home renovation tax credit deadline looms but there may still be time for you

The opportunity to take advantage of Canada’s Home Renovation Tax Credit expires at midnight on January 31. Obviously, the clock has run out when it comes to hiring a contractor but a quick trip to your favorite home renovation store might be in order if home improvements are part of your plan over the next few months. Items purchased before the close of business this Sunday may qualify for a 15% tax credit up to $1,350.

More info here.

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.

Real estate geeks can follow our daily updates on Twitter @norm_fisher.

Our Saskatoon home search tool offers MLS listings represented by all real estate brands, presented with more detail than you’ll find anywhere else. Check it out here.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate

Housing affordability in Saskatoon shows modest year-over-year improvement

I can’t imagine that it would come as much of a surprise to anyone that the cost of home ownership in Saskatoon has skyrocketed in recent years. According to the recently released “6th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey” owning a Saskatoon home priced at the median in Q3/2009 would have cost about 4.4 times the median household income, a sharp increase from 2.6 times median income we enjoyed in Q3/2006. Saskatoon saw one of the steepest declines in affordability between 2006 and 2008 placing us among the ranks of the “seriously unaffordable,” according to Demographia’s ranking system. On the brighter side, our city saw some small improvements from Q3/2008 when 4.6 years of income was required to buy that home.

The following chart shows the changes in affordability levels in some of Canada’s most active real estate markets over the past five surveys. Click the image for a larger view.

I was a bit surprised to see that affordability at a national level really hasn’t changed significantly in the past five years. Canada’s “median multiple” comes in at 3.7 years, up from the lows of 3.1 in Q3/2007 but just slightly higher than the 3.6 years in Q3/2005.

Vancouver “wins the gold medal” as the most severely unaffordable housing market in the world requiring 9.3 times to median household income, an increase of almost a year in just twelve months time.

See the entire Demographia survey for 2010 and past reports for 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006.

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.

Real estate geeks can follow our daily updates on Twitter @norm_fisher.

Our Saskatoon home search tool offers MLS listings represented by all real estate brands, presented with more detail than you’ll find anywhere else. Check it out here.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate