Saskatoon real estate: Week in review (August 20-24 2007)

Saskatoon home buyers may have been busy this week, but they definitely weren’t busy trying to buy a home. For the first time in a long time, activity fell flat and new listings were either not noticed or met with indifference. Sellers continued to list their Saskatoon real estate, but the buyers didn’t come. Many good listings lingered on the market all week with no showings and delayed offer presentations came and went like nobody cared. One well respected veteran with a few decades of experience and about a dozen really good listings said, “I don’t ever remember it feeling so slow.” Perhaps it just feels “so slow” because we’ve been running 15 hours a day, seven days a week for the past six months, but this week was different.


It remains to be seen whether this lull is simply a glitch or if our “suddenly” has arrived. After all, it is almost time for school and the summer is getting short, but let’s face it, this week was not an ideal one to spend at the lake.


You won’t be able to see it in this week’s numbers. Keep in mind that while the listing numbers show us what came on the market between Monday and Friday, the “sales” are actually recorded as they firm up and are reported to our MLS®. Many of the units showing up on this week’s report would have been transacted the previous week. The results of this week’s buyer hiatus will show up in the next “Week in review.” Unless Saskatoon homes buyers come out in droves next week, scooping up inventory and writing unconditional offers, we may just see our lowest unit sale numbers this year. Here are this week’s numbers.

Here are just a few of the highlights as I see them.


  • This week saw the highest number of new Saskatoon real estate listings as compared to any other week this year.
  • The “average overbid” dropped to its lowest level since the week of March 26-30.
  • Total active listings in the “residential” category reached 558 units, the highest number we’ve seen at the end of any week this year.

Predictions for the coming weeks


  • Say goodbye to “delayed presentation of offers.” Sellers are well advised to be willing to entertain an offer when a buyer is ready to make one.
  • Watch active listing inventory approach the 700 mark over the next couple of weeks.
  • Some investors will say “I’m out” and we’ll start to see more condos and entry level homes come back on the market. These units can probably get some traction because of the terribly bleak rental scene but buyers in these categories will have more options.
  • Sellers who are three to four weeks behind in the Saskatoon real estate news will begin to hate their agents again. 🙂

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

Saskatoon real estate: Week in review (August 13-17 2007)

It was another week of mixed results for the Saskatoon real estate market with some good news, and some bad news for home buyers and sellers. A total of 136 Saskatoon homes were introduced to the market (single-family, condos and duplexes) and 91 sales were reported in the same residential categories. Total active listings of homes in the categories outlined above reached 484 units (500 including other residential types like mobiles and semi-detached).

Here are a few of the highlights.


  • The percentage of Saskatoon homes which sold above the asking price dropped to its lowest level since the week of March 5-9. Only 47% of properties reported sold went for more than asking price, a drop of about 15% from the previous week.
  • A smaller percentage of over list price sales brought us the smallest spread between the average list price and the average sale price since the week of March 12-16.
  • For the first time since the week of March 26-30 one of the major Saskatoon real estate areas (Area 4) recorded an average selling price which was actually below the average list price.
  • The average overbid saw an increase of about 14% over the previous week.
  • The average list price of a Saskatoon home topped the quarter million dollar mark for the first time.
  • The average selling price reached a new weekly high at $257,169. Was Dwight Percy right all along? Are we headed for the $300,000 mark?

It’s a tough one to figure out. While there are some definite signs of cooling, enough heat obviously remains to continue pushing prices forward. Generally, agents are reporting fewer showings and fewer offers on new listings. There is no question that this market feels substantially different than it did just seven or eight weeks ago. Buyers who remain active must still be feeling like their options are limited. I expect they’re feeling tired of this game and perhaps a little desperate to just get it over with.


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

Saskatchewan among economic growth leaders through 2008: CMHC

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation released its third quarter Housing Market Outlook this morning which is predicting solid growth for Saskatchewan through 2008.


“After the poorest report in Canada last year, economic growth in Saskatchewan will rebound significantly with a 4% gain in 2007 and a 3.3% expansion next year. This will place Saskatchewan among the economic growth leaders through 2008.”


“The domestic consumer will contribute to the economic recovery, thanks to rapidly expanding migration, employment and income.”


Read the full report here (Saskatchewan report on page 12)


Also read: RBC predicts solid economic growth for Saskatchewan in 2007 and 2008

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 (August 3-10 2007)

New Saskatoon real estate listings outpaced home sales this past week by nearly two to one leaving total active listings of single family homes, condominiums and duplexes at 479 units, the highest level we’ve seen this year. Residential real estate activity in Saskatoon produced some good news and some bad news for both buyers and sellers. Here are a few of the highlights as I see them.


  • Second highest number of new Saskatoon residential real estate listings for any week this year, topped only once during the week of May 14-18.
  • Second lowest number of unit sales for any given week since I began the “week in review.” The week of July 2-6 saw fewer sales at 63 units.
  • In four of the five Saskatoon real estate areas the percentage of listings which sold for more than list price was very close to 50%. Strong performance in Area 1 (almost 80%) skewed the overall average up to 62%.
  • Average list prices and average selling prices reached their highest level this year.
  • The average overbid was the lowest we’ve seen since the week of March 26-30.
  • 17 listings in the categories described above expired or were withdrawn from the market without a sale.

These weekly stats combined with some of the marginal changes which we’ve been seeing in recent weeks, start to give the impression that there is some kind of a trend towards a more balanced market. While prices remain very strong we are seeing a smaller gap between the average list price and the average selling price. If inventory continues to grow we will eventually see a more meaningful connection between the two.


You’ll notice a new column in the chart this week. Last week, Doug Hay commented on the fact that while the “average overbid” was consistently present in my review; there was no reporting of an “average underbid.” Initially, I thought that there was little significance to those numbers given the small percentage of homes which were selling below list, and the fact that much of the pressure associated with the real estate transaction comes with competitive bidding. I didn’t think that they would be particularly instructive. However, I decided to delve into them as a bit of an experiment and found that there may be something there that others might find interesting. One should keep in mind that the average underbid is subject to some skewing by extraordinary sales like one in area 1 which sold for $772,500 against a list price of $819,500. Many of the under list sales are within a few thousand dollars of asking, as are many of the over list sales. My thanks to Doug for the little push on this.


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

NDP calls for “freeze” on Saskatoon condo conversions

Saskatchewan Justice Minister Frank QuennellJustice Minister Frank Quennell told reporters at a press conference yesterday that the “issue of decreasing rent supply…is an emergency. By the time you realize that it’s a crisis and that you’ve significantly decreased the rental supply because of all of the rental accommodation that’s been taken off them market, there really isn’t a remedy for that – and that’s why we’re encouraging the city (of Saskatoon) to use the powers that they have to correct an emergency situation while we look at everything.” Quennell pointed to “condo conversions” as at least partly to blame for the low supply of rental properties available in Saskatoon and recommended that our local government “freeze” conversions for the time being.


Mayor Don Atchison disagrees that a condo freeze is the answer and points out that condo conversions have affected less than one percent of Saskatoon apartments. Atchison expressed concerns about potential lawsuits which could result from a moratorium, and also the potential for creating a disincentive for developers who might otherwise consider building Saskatoon apartments.


Quennell suggested that rent control, higher supplements for people on assistance and even new legislation are all possible actions which are “on the table for discussion.”


Read the Star Phoenix coverage here

Read John Gormley’s “Housing latest political football” here


You may recall that in April Premier Lorne Calvert stepped forward to “take the credit” for the housing boom which ultimately led to this “crisis.” It will indeed be interesting to see if the NDP government can find their way out of this mess prior to the provincial election next spring.

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