Saskatoon real estate: Week in review (May 4-8 2009)

Following a few pretty encouraging weeks, sales of detached houses and condos stumbled, new Saskatoon real estate listings spiked to their highest point this year, and total active residential listings reached a new high for 2009.

New listings of detached houses and condominiums broke the one hundred and fifty mark for the first time this year, falling just short of two hundred, as Saskatoon home sellers offered up one hundred and ninety-six new listings to the Multiple Listing Service. While new listings came in sixty units higher on a week-over-week basis, fifty-two fewer homes were offered for sale when compared to the same week last year, which was the peak listing week for 2008. Condos saw the largest increase as the inventory grew from four hundred and eighty-six at the close of business last week to five hundred and twenty-two units today. Detached houses increased from eight hundred and sixty-five to eight hundred and ninety-three over the same period and total active residential listings broke the fifteen hundred mark for the first time this year to finish at 1,507.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

Price changes doubled over last week as ninety-five Saskatoon homes sellers adjusted their MLS listing. Additionally, eleven of thirty-seven cancelled and withdrawn listings re-appeared on the system, most at a new price. At the same time, two of our three price measures showed continued upward strength while the third, the weekly average, fell about $500 from the week before. A pretty skinny gain to the six-week average selling price brought its fifth consecutive week of growth and saw it reach $277,295, it’s highest point since late February, but about 8.75% lower than it was during the same week last year. The four-week median took its fourth consecutive week of gains to finish at $270,000, its highest point for 2009, just $7,250 lower than it was last year at this time.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

The average underbid was slightly higher than last week at $13,278 or roughly 4.5% of asking price. Once again, a few sellers managed an above list-selling price, but all three were new homes that may have included additional value to justify the increase. Larger underbids were certainly more common as the percentage of homes selling within $10,000 of the asking price slid back to just fifty-two percent. More commonly, that category ranges from sixty to seventy percent, so buyers did some hard grinding this week and sellers seem to have taken it.

Meanwhile, Saskatoon real estate agents continued to report that they’re “busy,” and I have to say we’ve been feeling that way too but if you want to measure performance with the true measuring stick of productivity (sales), you can clearly see that we’ve had three consecutive weeks of declining productivity. It’s true that this year’s sales line on our little graph looks a lot like last year’s, but remember, sales were actually falling off of a cliff last year at this time. May of 2008 brought us just 367 residential units sales, down from 580 the year before, and returning us to what us real estate types like to call “normal” ranges of sales. If there is the slightest bit of heat returning to this real estate market it will have to show up in next week’s numbers as pending deals move from conditional to firm. If it’s another week like this one, we’ll have a hard time putting together a month of May that is close to normal. It’s still early and the numbers could be there, but with just seventy-three firm sales so far in May, we are off to a bit of a slow start.

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

A closer look at the Saskatoon real estate statistics for April 2009

The Saskatoon Region Association of Realtors recently reported April results for the entire residential category of Saskatoon real estate, which includes single-family homes, condominiums, semi-detached properties, duplexes, mobile homes and vacant lots. Unit sales totaled 353 properties across all of these property types, and an average sale price of $275,455. Let’s have a look at how houses (single-family detached homes) and condominiums did in comparison to the entire residential category.

The total inventory of Saskatoon homes for sale (houses and condos) dipped ever so slightly over the month of April falling to 1,322 units from 1,328 at the end of March.

Total active listings of detached houses fell by 20 units over the previous month to finish at 847, significantly higher than the 470 single-family homes available at the close of April 2008, but still, a rather reasonable supply for this time of year. Unit sales in the same category grew to 235, up from 193 last month, and about ten percent lower than April 2008 when 261 detached houses traded hands.

The inventory of Saskatoon condos increased again, rising to 475 from 461 the month before, and reached levels nearly twice as high as the same month last year when 241 properties were showing an active status on the Saskatoon MLS. However, unit sales took a fairly sharp increase rising from 66 units last month to 110 in April, the highest number of condo sales recorded for any month since July 2008.

Increased unit sales brought the absorption rate (months of inventory) down for both houses and condos. There is currently a 3.6-month supply of detached houses (down from 4.5 last month and at their lowest level since July 2008) and a 4.3-month supply of condos (down from 7 months in March and at their lowest level since May 2008).

The average selling price of a detached house increased fairly significantly from $286,634 last month, to $312,565, falling short of last April’s average of $329,101. The median selling price gained $20,000 on a month-over-month basis rising to $295,000, down $15,500 from last April when it reached $310,500. The three-month average selling price rose by just $3,000 to $296,933, about $25,000 lower than last April’s figure of $321,124.

The average price per square foot for single-homes also came up in April gaining ten dollars on the previous month to settle at $248, roughly ten percent lower than it was last year at this time.

Condo prices also rose over the previous month, though not as substantially as single-family homes. The average selling price for the month was $219,733, about $4,500 higher than it was in March, but down from a whopping $259,467 for the same month last year. The median price gained $5,550 over last month rising to $215,500, but down nearly $30,000 from April of 2008. The three-month average was stable, month-over-month at $219,927, just $8,500 lower than last April’s number of $228,470.

The average cost per square foot for a Saskatoon condo slid just one-dollar to $213, off nearly eighteen percent on a year-over-year basis from its near peak of $261. That said, price per square foot for condos is certainly looking more stable in recent months and the steep losses experienced through the last three quarters of 2008 seem to have stopped.

Remember, averages and cost per square foot numbers can provide some useful insights into pricing trends but they’re not as useful when engaging in an actual transaction. If you’re buying or selling you should be seeking current information on active listings and recent sales, which are most comparable to your property in terms of location, size, features and amenities.

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’s River Landing Village now for sale, construction to begin soon

I received this email today stating that the title issues we previously heard about that were holding Lake Placid back on the River Landing Village project have been resolved and that construction will begin “as soon as changes are complete.”

Dear Norm,

“The legislation needed to move forward with two of the biggest private developments in the province, both slated for downtown Saskatoon, was passed this week.”

Star Phoenix, May 02 2009

We have very exciting news! We are now offering the Residences at River Landing Village for sale! For those of you that have reserved a unit, this is your opportunity to make that unit yours with a 10% deposit. If you have not reserved a unit we encourage you to visit our sales centre, as we have many great suites still available. Please call Richard or Gail at (306) 683-4350 to make an appointment.

As you may know, we have experienced delays due to the current land titles act. As you can see in the quote above from the Star Phoenix, we have overcome these issues.  In simple terms, the Government is going to allow multiple strata’s (owners and users) on a single title (parcel of land). We are very excited about this progress, and we will begin construction as soon as these changes are complete.

We hope to hear from you soon and encourage you to visit us, as suites are selling quickly!

Sincerely.

Lake Placid River Landing

The River Landing Village website 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

Saskatoon real estate: Week in review (April 27–May 1 2009)

Following two fairly brisk sales weeks, Saskatoon real estate sales softened some as local agents reported just seventy-seven sales of single-family detached houses and condominiums to the Saskatoon MLS system. This week’s numbers were down by eleven units compared to last week and fell shy of the units recorded during the same week last year by fifteen homes.

New listings were up just slightly over last week to one hundred and thirty six homes, and well below last year’s number of two hundred and twenty eight. The typical batch of month end expired listings caused the total residential inventory of Saskatoon homes for sale to fall from 1,472 last week to 1,410 this morning but strong renewals and soft sales of Friday brought them back to 1,439 by the end of the day. At the close of business today, eight hundred and sixty five houses and four hundred and eighty-six condominiums are displaying an active status on our MLS system.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

Eighty-nine home sellers adjusted their price this week in hopes of attracting a buyer. An additional twenty-eight homes were canceled and re-listed, most at a new price.

The average selling price of a Saskatoon home took a $5,000 decline compared to last week slipping to $280,117 while the six-week average and the four-week median both increased again. The six-week average moved up to $276,929, recording its fourth consecutive week-over-week gain and reaching its highest level since the final week of February. Still, this price measure remained lower than it was during this week last year by just over $26,000. Meanwhile, the four-week median took a slightly larger gain growing $4,500 over last week to finish at $264,450 and reaching its highest level since the first week of March. Once again, year-over-year losses were recorded but at a much smaller number than compared to recent weeks. It’s down $15,750 from the same week in 2008.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

Two home sellers managed to complete a sale at a price higher than list and those two sales generated an average overbid of $20,550. Both of the overbid properties were new homes so the agreed upon price may have included additional value. Another seven sellers got their price, while sixty-six others came to the negotiating table and sliced an average of $12,718, or 4.3 percent from their asking price to close the deal.

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’s residential resale market continues correction pattern: SRAR

The Saskatoon Region Association of Realtors (SRAR) released the residential real estate statistics for April 2009 today along with the following media release.

April’s real estate market continued to correct with fewer listings being taken easing higher than normal inventory levels.

Saskatoon REALTORS® assisted 353 buyers to find their dream home. That number down 15% from April 2008 when 413 units were sold. Unit sales figures were ahead of 2005 and 2006.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

REALTORS® placed 694 properties on the market in April that number down 23% from 2008 when 896 homes were listed for sale. Buyers had 1499 properties to select from, down substantially from a market high of 1748 homes for sale in September 2008.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

The average selling price for April was $275,455.00 that number down from April 2008 when the average was $306,031.00.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

In the month of April the $300 – $350,000.00 price range saw the greatest sales activity with 62 properties being sold. The $225 – 300,000 range was also very active. Upper price range activity remains steady with the following year to date sales figures.

• $350 – 400,000.00 – 90 sales

• $400 – 450,000.00 – 49 sales

• $450 – 750,000.00 – 51 sales

All Indicators point to similar activity for the next few months. The Saskatoon and Saskatchewan economy is a bright spot given the global economic situation. Inventory levels will remain higher than normal for the year but should continue to decline to a more normal number towards year end. Consumer confidence in the local economy, low interest rates and a sustained job market will all contribute to a quicker real estate market recovery.

Drop by early next week when our “Closer look at the Saskatoon real estate statistics for April 2009” will be posted. It includes a more extensive overview of unit sales, prices and active listings of single-family homes and condominiums.

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