Saskatoon real estate: Week in review (May 25-29 2009)

The Saskatoon real estate market saw stronger than normal activity this week breaking the one hundred-unit sales mark for the first time this year. There were one hundred and thirteen properties sold, up from eighty-two last week, and ahead of last year’s number, also eighty-two. Reaching their highest level since the final week of April 2008 when one hundred and seventeen Saskatoon homes traded hands, sales of houses and condos were up one a year-over-year basis for the third consecutive week. For the first time in as long as I can remember home sales in areas one through three actually came in higher than new listings.

New listings of single-family detached homes and condominiums came in at one hundred and twenty-seven properties, down eleven from last week, and off by fifty-eight homes when compared to the same week last year. Ninety-five houses and thirty-two condominiums were listed for sale over the course of the week. Overall, stronger unit sales and weaker listing activity pushed total active residential listings down by twenty-five properties compared to last week, to 1,502, but they remained up from the same week last year when 1,154 properties were showing an active status on the Saskatoon MLS. As of this morning, there are nine hundred and ten single-family detached houses and five hundred condominiums for sale in the city.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

After falling off of a cliff last week for lack of sales in the over $400,000 price ranges, the average selling price of a Saskatoon home bounced back to $289,265 and reached its highest level since late February. This week, there were seventeen houses and condos sold for $400,000 or more. The six-week average pushed forward nearly five thousand dollars over last week to reach $281,148; still almost sixteen thousand dollars lower than you might have paid last year at this time. The weekly median sale price jumped more than $30,000 from last week to reach $277,000 but the four-week median managed to hold steady at $270,000 for the fourth week in a row, and settled $9,500 lower than it was during the same week last year.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

Average underbids came in slightly lower than the previous week at $11,411 which represents an average discount of 3.8%. The percentage of sellers who managed to firm up a deal within $10,000 of the asking price declined slightly from seventy-five percent to seventy-two percent and the $10,001 to $15,000 category also saw a decline of three percentage points, while sixteen percent of Saskatoon home buyers settled their negotiation with a discount greater than $15,000.

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 @Norm_Fisher.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate

Saskatoon new and resale house prices to slide in 2009, rebound in 2010: CMHC

The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) released their Spring Housing Market Outlook for the Saskatoon CMA today. Here’s the gist of it.

After the strongest two-year performance since the late 1970’s, Saskatoon single-detached housing starts will decline to 600 units in 2009 and bounce back to 725 units in 2010. The 2009 singles forecast represents the lowest number of housing starts since 2001 when 542 single starts took place.

Statistics Canada’s New House Price Index (NHPI) measures the increase in the price of a house where the detailed specifications pertaining to each house remain the same between two consecutive periods. Given the decline in production, we forecast a 6.6 per cent decline in the NHPI in 2009. Next year will see a partial recovery of these losses with growth of three per cent.

Saskatoon resales will continue to slow in 2009, slipping 15.3 per cent to 3,000 sales. Sales were last at this level in 2004 when 2,999 resales took place. Price reductions should contribute to a rebound in 2010 with sales of 3,150 units, a five per cent increase over the 2009 figure. Slower in-migration and a cooler economy combined with elevated housing prices have dampened demand and restrained sales from the historically high levels seen in 2005 to 2008. MLS® sales peaked in 2007 with 4,446 resales recorded.

Seasonally adjusted monthly sales are trending downward, but the severity of the decline has eased in recent months. In June 2008, the monthly trend was down close to five per cent compared to the previous month while seasonally adjusted sales were down by only one per cent from February to March 2009.

By the end of the first quarter, year-to-date new listings were up 16 per cent from last year at that time. March seasonally adjusted new listings were down 0.8 per cent from February 2009. March marked the sixth month-over-month decline in seasonally adjusted new listings activity. This suggests the new listings trend has peaked.

A slower decline in the number of sales and lower new listings have not yet worked their way into the inventory of homes for sale on the MLS® service. In March, there were 2,399 active listings, more than double the 2008 March figure. Seasonally adjusted active listings increased by 4.8 per cent compared to the previous month and reached the highest level on record in March.

Our forecast calls for average price to slip to $275,000 in 2009, a 4.4 per cent decline from the 2008 annual figure. Historically high active listings and buyer resistance to higher prices will result in the 2009 fall off in average price. There will be a modest increase of close to two per cent in 2010, bringing the aver-age price to the $280,000 mark. The firmer market expected in 2010 will allow modest price gains.

The full report 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.

Follow our daily updates on Twitter @Norm_Fisher.
Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate

Potential resale returns on various home improvements

People are often curious about how certain home improvements will affect the value of their homes. The chart of percentages displayed here presents some findings compiled by the Appraisal Institute of Canada from their 2008 membership survey. It is intended to give the homeowner a very general idea of the potential that certain improvements have in adding value to your home.

Sky lights 0-25%
Swimming pool 0-25%
Landscaping 25-50%
Fencing 25-50%
Brick walkways 25-50%
Home theatre 25-50%
Block paving 25-50%
Concrete paving 25-75%
Central air conditioning 25-75%
Deck 50-75%
New windows and doors 50-75%
New exterior siding 50-75%
Flooring 50-75%
Basement renovation 50-75%
Addition to dwelling 50-75%
Fireplace 50-75%
Garage 50-75%
Roof replacement 50-80%
Heating system/furnace 50-80%
Interior paint 50-100%
Kitchen renovation 75-100%
Bathroom renovation 75-100%
Energy efficient features Avg. 61%

Other considerations

  • Improvements that are commonly found in the area the home is located in will almost always deliver the highest returns.
  • Renovations in homes that have a lower market value when compared to other homes in the area generally see a higher return from home improvements.
  • Poorly done renovations have a smaller upward impact on the home’s value, and can actually have a negative affect on property value.
  • Renovations done on a home that is generally in poor repair overall have a minimal impact on its market value.
  • It’s rare that renovations recover their full cost in added value. Home owners should understand that there is some value associated with enjoyment of the improvement.
  • Not all improvements are created equal, even those that might fit in the same category. For instance, in a bathroom renovation a “spa type shower will add roughly 36% of it’s cost, while a Jacuzzi or whirlpool type tub recovers approximately 65% of its cost.

Saskatoon real estate: Week in review (May 18-22 2009)

Saskatoon real estate sales were down this week compared to last, but continued to clip along at a better than average pace with eighty-two houses and condos changing hands, down from ninety-five units last week and well above the sixty-one properties that sold during the same week last year.

New listings of Saskatoon houses and condos came in at one hundred and thirty-eight properties, down three units from the previous week, and forty-one units lower than the same week last year when one hundred and seventy-nine homes were offered for sale on the multiple listing service. It would have been the slowest week for new listings since January if not for twenty-seven “to be moved” buildings located in McNab Park that were listed for sale, and thirteen condo units which were canceled from the system last week only to be re-listed this week.

Total active residential listings managed to push higher closing the week up twenty-seven properties to 1,528. The current inventory of Saskatoon real estate listings includes nine hundred and fifteen single-family detached houses, five hundred and nine condominiums, thirty-four semi-detached homes, thirty-seven duplexes, nine vacant lots, ten mobile homes and nine other things that apparently don’t fit neatly into any of the categories I’ve just listed. Total active listings were at 1,125 properties during the same week in 2008.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

New listings of Saskatoon houses and condos versus units sales

New listings of Saskatoon houses and condos versus units sales

Prices took a sharp downward turn this week as the average selling price fell more than $30,000 from the previous week to $257,282. The change appears to be related to one of those strange anomalies that just happen for time to time. This week, there was just one lonely sale above the $400,000 mark, compared to fourteen the week before, so in spite of the fact that houses took a larger share of the sales this week, the average was pushed lower. The six-week average broke a seven week winning streak falling about $3,500 from last week to finish at $276,511 roughly $25K lower than the same week last year. The four-week median held firm at $270,000 for the third consecutive week, lower than the same week in 2008 by just $10,000.

Just fifty-one Saskatoon home sellers adjusted their price this week, not including the nineteen properties that were cancelled and re-listed, most at a new price.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

Prices of Saskatoon homes sold the week of May 18-22 2009

Prices of Saskatoon homes sold the week of May 18-22 2009

Sellers were feeling the love this week as home buyers said yes to deals that were within an average of $9,124, or 3.1% of the asking price. I expect this is probably one of the highest sales to list price ratios that we’ve seen in some time. Over forty percent of sellers struck a deal within $5K of their asking price, while another thirty four percent settled for a discount between $5,001 and $10,000.

Underbids on Saskatoon real estate for the week of May 18-22 2009

Underbids on Saskatoon real estate for the week of May 18-22 2009

Saskatoon real estate sales statistics for the week of May 18-22 2009

Saskatoon real estate sales statistics for the week of May 18-22 2009

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 @Norm_Fisher.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate

Saskatoon real estate: Week in review (May 11-15 2009)

Following a soft week, firm sales of Saskatoon houses and condominiums bounced back to reach their highest level for any week this year with a total of ninety-five units trading hands. You’ll have to look back to the final week of April 2008 when one hundred and seventeen sales were recorded to find a week that produced a higher number of sales. Units increased by fifty percent over last week when just sixty-three home sales were reported and finished slightly higher than the same week last year when eighty-nine Saskatoon home owners saw a sold sign go up. This is just the second time this year that weekly sales were up on a year-over-year basis.

New listings, on the other hand, retreated from last week’s spike falling from one hundred and ninety-six to one hundred and thirty-five units and dropping more than forty percent from the same week last year when two hundred and twenty-nine homes were offered for sale. In spite of stronger sales and weaker listing activity, the total inventory of properties in the residential category managed to hold steady at 1,506, just one unit below last week’s number. As of the close of business Friday, nine hundred and seventeen single-family homes and five hundred condos were showing an active status. Last year at this time there were 1,051 active residential listings on the Saskatoon MLS.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

Sales versus units sales of Saskatoon houses for the week of May 11-15 2009

New listings versus units sales of Saskatoon houses for the week of May 11-15 2009

One hundred and eight sellers made an adjustment to their asking price this week, perhaps the largest number of changes that I can recall in any given week. That doesn’t include twenty-five of fifty-two canceled listings which re-appeared as new listings, most at a new price.

At the same time, prices continued to move higher as the average selling price of a Saskatoon home came in more than $8,000 ahead of last week to settle at $287,949. The six-week average took its sixth consecutive weekly gain picking up nearly three thousand dollars and reaching $280,090. Still, it remained about eight percent lower than last year’s number of $304,874. The four-week median held steady at $270,000 down just seven thousand dollars from this same week in 2008.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

Prices of Saskatoon houses and condos for the week of May 11-15 2009

Prices of Saskatoon houses and condos for the week of May 11-15 2009

Saskatoon home sellers found a little more love at the bargaining table as the average underbid dropped from $13,278 last week to $11,854 this week. With the increased asking and sale prices this week, that underbid represents a discount of just 3.4% compared to 4.5% the week before. Nearly forty percent of the homes that sold went within $5,000 of the asking price while another twenty-four percent sold in the $5,001 and $10,000 discount range.

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 @Norm_Fisher.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate