Saskatoon real estate: Week in review (November 24-28 2008)

Following a week that produced a strong bounce in residential unit sales, Saskatoon real estate market activity slipped back to weaker levels as agents reported firm sales on just 37 properties including 28 detached houses and 9 condos.  Typically, both sales and listings are expected to weaken as we move into December so the weekly updates may be less than exciting over the next month. On the other hand, buyers are likely to find that seller motivation increases as activity weakens so we may see some interesting changes in prices and in underbid activity. Stay tuned.

New listing activity also weakened slightly from the previous week with the introduction of just 55 houses and 22 condominiums to the Saskatoon MLS. Additionally, 19 of 41 cancelled listings found their way back to the system as new listings. Total active listings declined just slightly falling to a total of 1,534 units including 922 single-family homes and 511 condominiums.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

A couple of $500K plus home sales pushed the average selling price of a Saskatoon home higher to $293,424, up about $18,000 from the previous week. That change moved the six-week average slightly higher to $285,086 but the four-week median managed to remain pretty much consistent for the thirteenth week in a row. Based on the apparent trend of a falling average and a stable median, I can only conclude that active buyers are opting for a little more home, instead of a little less budget.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

Buyers applied more pressure and benefited by growing the gap between list price and sale price as the average underbid increased from $12,623 last week to $15,174 this week. The percentage of homes that sold within $10,000 of the asking price slipped below 50 again while the $10,001-$15,000 and the over $25K category swelled. This past week also produced two overbid sales, something we haven’t seen in a while. They were both on new homes so it’s quite possible that the builder and the buyer agreed to additional improvements that pushed the price higher. 88 sellers changed their pricing strategy over the past week.

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 (November 17-21 2008)

New listing activity in the Saskatoon real estate market increased for the first time in six weeks as 82 residential properties made their way to the multiple listing service, up six from the previous week. A total 78 single-family homes and condominiums were added to the database, an increase of just two units from the week before. Fewer than half (28) of the 61 property listings that were cancelled or withdrawn over the course of the week made a second appearance as a new listing. By week’s end, total active residential listings slipped from 1,567 to 1,537 units and reached its lowest level since the last week of July. The current active listing inventory includes 932 single-family homes and 510 condominiums.

Unit sales of houses and condos bounced back to reach 55, the highest number recorded since the week of September 22-26. Interestingly, sales in area 2 actually matched new listings for the week, while sales in area 5 nearly doubled up on new listings offered for sale. I don’t want to overstate the significance of what could be a one-week blip, but this is the first week that we’ve seen that happen since January of this year. There’s no denying that there is a near seven month supply of Saskatoon homes for sale but it is starting to look like our surplus inventory is slowly chipping away. In spite of weaker demand the large gap between new listings and units sales has narrowed significantly over the past few months. Listing number in March, April and May of next year will paint a clearer picture of where we are headed for 2009.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

Following a week that saw the average selling price of a Saskatoon home spike, this past week produced numbers which are more typical of what we’ve come to expect over the past couple of months. The weekly average fell hard to just $275,436, and the six-week average sale price resumed its slow but steady decline reaching its lowest level since the week of September 1-5 to settle at $283,313. The four-week median selling price, while slightly lower than last week at $270,000, managed to maintain a near straight line on our graph for the eleventh week in a row.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

Saskatoon home sellers not only benefited from a higher number of sales this past week, but they also struck deals which were closer to their asking price as the average underbid declined to $12,623 from a whopping $17,214 the week before. The percentage of homes that sold within $10,000 of the list price swung back to settle just above the 50% mark, up from just 42% the previous week. The percentage of sales showing discounts above $20,000 decreased significantly from 22% last week, to 10% this week. Price adjustments were made to 80 active listings over the course of the week.

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 (November 10-14 2008)

New listing activity in the Saskatoon real estate market continued on a seasonal decline for the fifth consecutive week falling to the lowest levels we’ve seen since the week of January 14-18. Just 76 residential properties were offered for sale, down 16 units from the previous week when sellers offered 92 new listings for sale on the Saskatoon MLS. A total of 32 properties were cancelled or withdrawn, and 19 of those homes found their way back to the system as “new listings.” The total inventory of Saskatoon homes for sale fell again, dropping fairly sharply to 1,567 units including 948 single-family homes and 520 condos. This is a trend that I expect will continue through the balance of the year as frustrated sellers give up and allow their listing to expire.

Residential unit sales took a harder punch falling from 48 units last week to just 31 sales this week and reaching their lowest level since the week of December 31-January 4. Saskatoon real estate agents have been reporting an uptick in activity (inquiries, showings), but that hasn’t resulted in firm sales, at least not yet. I’ll step out on a limb here and guess that unit sales in the coming week will trump the previous 7 weeks (52 units being the number to beat) as active home buyers who are eager to settle before Christmas get the job done.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

Following a week which produced the lowest average and median selling prices that we’ve seen in some time, this week’s average spiked higher and broke the $310,000 mark for the first time in eight weeks as four sales exceeding $500,000 hit the books and drove the average up. Four sales hardly sounds like enough to seriously skew the numbers, but when we’re talking about total units at just 31, those heavy sale price numbers represent more than 10 percent of total sales. The spike in the average was enough to cause the six-week rolling average to take a step higher for the first time in five weeks. The four-week median selling price of a Saskatoon home remained remarkably stable for a tenth consecutive week, about $30,000 lower than its peak in June, and hovering at late March levels.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

Net sale prices may have taken a big bounce but those sellers who managed to firm up a sale demonstrated some flexibility as the average underbid rocketed to $17,214, a number that has only been topped once this year, the week of September 22-26. There was a noticeable shift in the underbid chart as buyers successfully negotiated larger discounts. Just last week, 52 percent of recorded sales came in within $10K of the asking price. This week, 58 percent of buyers managed to do better, obtaining discounts higher than $10K. The $10-15K category swelled from 19 to 26 percent, and discounts of $25K or higher ballooned from just 8 percent of sales last week to a remarkable 19 percent this week.

Averages and medians don’t always paint the clearest picture. When we’re dealing with small numbers of units sales results can swing wildly based on the price ranges that are most active. I thought it might be interesting to take a look back at some specific types of properties to get a better idea of what changes have occurred. The following chart examines the average selling price of standard detached bungalows located across all five real estate areas in Saskatoon, plus apartment style condominiums located on Saskatoon’s east side.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

Interestingly, there are some pretty substantial differences in how the price of each property type has been affected over the past year.

Bungalows up to 1,000 square feet have dropped less than the other properties examined. Prices remain 18% higher than they were at the same time last year ($179,569), but they’re down 12% to $212,012 from their peak of $236,673 in April.

Bungalows between 1,001 and 1,200 square feet seem to have gotten a head start on price declines. Having peaked at $322,151 in March of this year, they’ve fallen 13% to $284,763 since that time and are just 3% higher than they were in November of 2007 when they reached an average selling price of $275,910.

Bungalows between 1,201 and 1,400 square feet are 15% higher than they were last year ($295,186) at $339,376 but show the largest decline (15%) from their peak of $401,111 in April. It appears that this category moved ahead of smaller bungalows taking greater gains early in the year and was slower in experiencing declines. As Crikey once said, “Mr. Market always smells a rat,” and consequently, a larger correction has occurred.

East side apartment style condominiums bring us the most interesting statistics. This category of home shows a 16% decline from the peak of $232,037 in April to settle at $199,304 by October 2008. The average selling price is 10% lower than it was in November 2007 when it reached $223,692.

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 (November 3-7 2008)

New listings in the Saskatoon real estate market continued on a slow and modest decline for the fourth consecutive week as just 64 single-family homes and 28 condominiums were added to the local MLS system. Down just two units from the previous week, it’s the lowest weekly number we’ve seen since the last week of January. This past week, 60 sellers cancelled their MLS listing, 28 quickly changing their minds and reintroducing their property as a new listing. Total active listings fell again, this time breaking the 1,600 mark to settle at 1,597 units including 971 houses and 523 condos. That is the lowest inventory level since the week of August 4-8, but still represents about 7 months of supply.

Residential sales activity showed an equally modest gain to finish the week at 51 units including 35 houses, 13 condos, 2 semi-detached bungalows and 1 mobile home. Once again, the gap between new listings and sales closed just slightly.

Click the image for a larger view of the graph.

The average selling price of Saskatoon houses and condos tumbled hard, falling to $272,981, the lowest weekly average since the week of August 25-29. The weekly median price took a slightly sharper fall landing at $255,950, down from $275,000 the week before. The six-week rolling average continued to trend down for the fourth consecutive week, and the four-week median, while lower than last week, looked more or less consistent with what we’ve seen over the past two months.

Click the image for a larger view of the graph.

102 motivated sellers adjusted their pricing strategy, and those sellers that did manage to firm up a sale showed some flexibility dropping an average of $13,577 from their asking price. Just over 50% were able to keep that number to 10K or less, while the balance gave a little more to put the deal together. People who are buying today seem to understand the risks but they’re just not willing to shoulder all of it themselves.

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 homes sales to decline while prices increase: CMHC

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) released their fall outlook for the Saskatoon real estate market today, predicting a decline in unit sales and an increase in house prices through 2009.

“Saskatoon resales will decline almost 20 per cent by the end of 2008 with a further 11 per cent reduction occurring in 2009. Notwithstanding 2008’s forecast decline, resales will still be in excess of the ten-year average of 3,170 sales.”

“Our forecast calls for the average price to reach $287,000 in 2008 and approach the $300,000 mark in 2009 as price gains cool from the 2007 pace. Higher listings and buyer resistance to higher prices will result in relatively weaker price gains compared to 2007 for the balance of 2008 and 2009.”

Hmmm.

Read CMHC’s Fall Housing Outlook for Saskatoon 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.

Follow our daily updates on Twitter @SaskatoonHomes.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate