Average house prices rise by double digits in Saskatchewan

Royal LePage Q1-07 House Price Survey released this morning.


SASKATCHEWAN, March 29, 2007 – Strong in-migration and high levels of consumer confidence led to unprecedented levels of demand in Saskatchewan in the first quarter, causing average house prices to rise by double-digits in all surveyed housing categories, according to a report released today by Royal LePage Real Estate Services.


Based on the Saskatchewan markets surveyed, the average price of a standard two-storey home rose by 28.7 percent to $224,833, over the same period in 2006. The average price of a standard condominium increased by 26.8 per cent rising to $128,750, while the average price of a detached bungalow rose by 26.5 per cent to $203,667, year-over-year.


The economy in Saskatchewan remains bright, with employment opportunities in a variety of sectors. Increased demand for housing across the province has resulted in some typically less popular neighbourhoods receiving a lot of attention, as buyers extend their search outside of traditional ‘blue chip’ areas in order to satisfy their housing needs. Despite significant increases to average house prices in the first quarter, housing in the province remains among the most affordable in the country.


In Regina, the housing market got off to a brisk start in 2007, as in-migration to the city fuelled strong levels of demand. Listing inventory remained tight throughout the quarter, pressuring house prices upwards, resulting in a significant number of multiple offer situations.


Properties traded hands quickly throughout the quarter, with the number of listings available unable to satisfy pent-up demand from buyers.


“We have seen strong in-migration to Regina in the first quarter, particularly from the Western provinces, as people are drawn to the city for abundant employment opportunities, an excellent quality of life, and some of the most affordable housing in the country,” said Mike Duggleby, manager, Royal LePage Regina Realty, Regina. “Many purchasers who are relocating from Alberta or British Columbia have accumulated enough equity from their past homes that they can pay for a new home in cash, with money left over to purchase a recreational property.”


Move-up buyers were the most active purchaser group during the first quarter, with all areas of the city remaining in high demand. Washington Park, an area which has typically catered to low-income housing, saw an upswing in activity, as purchasers from outside the province snapped up inexpensive homes with the purpose of using them as income-generating rental units.


In Regina North, detached bungalows experienced the largest appreciation, with the average price rising by 12.8 per cent to $150,000 year-over-year. The average price of a standard condominium also rose by double digits to $95,000 (+11.8%), while a standard two-storey property rose by 12.1 per cent to $148,000, year-over-year.


In Regina South, detached bungalows showed the largest gains, rising by 11.9 per cent to $167,000, year-over-year. The average price of a standard two-storey home increased by 7.0 per cent to $171,000, while the average price of a standard condominium in the area increased by 5.8 per cent to $110,000 compared to the same period last year.


In Saskatoon, strong in-migration, particularly from the Western provinces led to unprecedented demand for housing in the first quarter. A steady supply of properties came on the market throughout the quarter, however listings moved through the system quickly and were unable to satiate purchasers’ demand.


Many former residents of Saskatchewan have been drawn back to the province by the abundance of employment opportunities in a variety of sectors and relatively affordable cost of living. The housing market in Saskatoon has also started to attract out-of-province purchasers, looking to invest in income-generating properties such as multi-unit apartment buildings, duplexes and condominium units.


“Saskatoon is typically a market which is characterized by slow and steady increases in average prices,” said Norm Fisher, sales manager, Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate. “The conditions which have emerged in the first quarter are typical of a large Western city. Momentum in the housing market seems to be picking up weekly, with well over half of all homes selling at, or above, list price.”


Demand for all housing types has been strong throughout the first quarter, with a particular strength shown in the condominium market, as many first-time buyers appear eager to purchase a home before prices rise outside of the range they can afford. Some areas that previously had been considered less desirable saw an upswing in activity in the first quarter, as some purchasers were forced to look outside their preferred neighbourhoods in order to secure a home.


In Saskatoon North, the average price of a standard two-storey home rose by 34.5 per cent to $265,000, year-over-year. Detached bungalows rose by 34.1 per cent to $240,000, while the price of a standard condominium rose by 33.9 per cent to $150,000 over the same period in 2006.


In Saskatoon West, the average price of a standard two-storey home rose by 41.1 per cent to $230,000, while the average value of a detached bungalow also increased, rising by 21.6 per cent, year-over-year to $180,000.


In the East End, the average price of a detached bungalow rose by 36.1 per cent to $245,000, year-over-year. The average price for standard two-storey homes also increased, rising by 31.0 per cent from the same period last year to $275,000.


In East Central, the price of a standard two-storey home rose by 39.8 per cent to $260,000, while a detached bungalow rose by 35.6 per cent to $240,000, year-over-year. A standard condominium also appreciated by 52.4 per cent compared to the same period last year to $160,000.

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.

Follow our daily updates on Twitter @SaskatoonHomes.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate

Saskatoon real estate: Week in review (March 19-23 2007)

A full 53% of all residential sales reported to the Saskatoon real estate board for the week of March 19-23 sold above the asking price, with an average over bid of $14,456.


Once again, average selling prices exceeded average asking prices in all major Saskatoon real estate districts, except area 4, where the average selling price was just about $250 below list.


Total active listing of Saskatoon single family homes and condos were at 234 units at the close of the week, about the same number as last week.

Saskatoon real estate sales statistics

Some of the more notable sales include the following:

  • 1,080 square foot East College Park bungalow sells $41,000 over list at $245,000.
  • 1,040 square foot town home in Erindale listed at $219,900 sells for $245,000.
  • 867 square foot condo in Lakeview listed at $107,900 sells at $140,000.
  • It’s kind of sad when the $20,000 over bids no longer make the “notable” list.

See a Google map displaying the boundaries of Saskatoon real estate “areas” here
Data collection and calculation for our statistical reports

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.

Follow our daily updates on Twitter @SaskatoonHomes.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate

Head check: One question you must ask before you write your offer

Head Check

I met with one of my newer agents the other day to review an offer he had written for one of our clients. The offer was beautifully prepared and technically perfect. The buyer had left no doubt that they wanted this house offering a full $20,000 above the asking price. It was Tuesday. The seller had instructed their agent not to present any offers before Wednesday at 8:00 pm.


I had one question for my agent. “What if this is the only offer which the seller receives?”


If you’ve been listening to people talk you might believe that “everything is selling for more than the asking price.” Well, guess what. Everything is not selling for more than the asking price. Last week, 52% of the sales reported sold at or below the asking price. I’m hearing of more instances where the seller only receives one offer and if yours is the only offer on the table, you’re probably not going to feel very good about offering thousands of dollars more than they are asking.


If I were representing a buyer in a purchase, I might suggest that we wait until the offer presentation is almost imminent before a decision is made on the offer price. Then I might ask the seller’s agent if they have received other offers on the property. They don’t have to tell me but they almost certainly will if there are other offers. If they respond by saying, “my seller has asked me not to disclose the existence of other offers,” my client and I will have to make the call as to what that means. On the other hand, we may hear, “yours is the only offer at this time.” Perhaps that might influence the price which my client is prepared to offer. It would certainly influence the advice which I would offer the client.

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.

Follow our daily updates on Twitter @SaskatoonHomes.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate

Saskatoon real estate market predictions

Saskatoon real estate market predictionsProviding analysis of what has happened in the Saskatoon real estate market takes a lot of work, but reviewing statistics and crunching numbers normally produces a pretty accurate result.


Predicting the future of a market is much simpler. You review what’s been happening lately, evaluate factors which may impact the market, fill your press release with all kinds of cool intelligent words and provided that you are smart enough to forecast early and waaaaaay into the future, sufficient time will pass and people will forget whatever you’ve said by the time your prediction fails. Simple!


Being correct in a market forecast is much more difficult. I could report a number of failures of my own, but I won’t, because this is my blog. 🙂


Today, I happened across a copy of the RBC Housing Forecast for 2007. Written sometime over the early months of this year, the report includes some real gems which drive home the point that even the brightest minds that economics can produce sometimes can’t see the forest for the trees.


“The western provinces continue to show signs of price growth topping out with British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan all likely having reached pinnacles in the pace of price appreciation.”


Don’t you wish they could have told us that in January?


With respect to Saskatchewan specifically, the report indicates, “…we anticipate housing affordability to ameliorate in the coming quarters as markets continue to cool” (ameliorate is an impressive word which economists use to say “improve”. 🙂


Let’s hope that things don’t “continue to cool” at this pace all year long.


What’s most startling about this particular “forecast” is that it was just released last week.


Apparently, it’s hard to get an economist’s attention once his work has begun. I’ve always understood that they can’t see what’s going on in Saskatchewan from Toronto, where I suspect this report was prepared, but come on; the Saskatoon real estate market is so damned hot they should be able to feel it out there.


As for me, I anticipate that current market conditions will persist unabated until housing inventories begin to ameliorate and buyers begin to demonstrate substantial desistance. You can take that to the bank.

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.

Follow our daily updates on Twitter @SaskatoonHomes.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate

Saskatoon real estate: Week in review (March 12-16 2007)

Saskatoon home buyers found little relief from pressured prices this past week. While the percentage of homes which sold at or above their list price declined from 70% to 61%, the average overbid in instances where homes sold over list price increased to $14,155 from $12,144 the week before.


Area 4 had the lowest percentage of over list sellers with 60% of homes selling at a bit of a discount. The average overbid dropped from $9,100 to just $5,917.


Area 5, where housing inventories remain tightest, showed an average overbid of $18,767, a big increase from $13,975 the week before. Here are the numbers.


Saskatoon Real estate week in review

One doesn’t have to look far to see frustrated home buyers and exhausted agents. I can’t help but think this market is taking its toll. A number of buyers wondered out loud if they should just give up as their continued efforts to get into the Saskatoon housing market continued to deliver no results.


I am also ready for a little relief but there seems to be no end in sight. There are 236 active MLS® listings of condos and houses on the market today, which I believe is a record low.


Anyone who is actively looking right now knows that the majority of those have conditional offers on them.

See a Google map displaying the boundaries of Saskatoon real estate “areas” here
Data collection and calculation for our statistical reports

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.

Follow our daily updates on Twitter @SaskatoonHomes.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate