Saskatoon real estate week in review–October 26-30 2009

Saskatoon real estate sales were certainly brisk this week with eighty-three house and condo deals firming up, trumping last week’s sales by seventeen units and finishing well ahead of the same week last year when just forty-seven properties changed hands. As the week drew to a close, so did the October sales month. My preliminary research shows a total of three hundred and eleven residential sales for the month, an increase of forty-six percent from last October’s dismal numbers, and growth of twenty-five percent when compared to the five-year October average of about two hundred and forty-eight Saskatoon homes.

New listings of houses and condos slowed again and dropped to their lowest level since the first week of 2009 to finish at just sixty-three, making this one of just four weeks this year in which unit sales exceeded new listings. This week’s total listings fell by nine properties compared to last week, and dropped thirty-one homes compared to the same week last year.

Naturally, the number of residential listings offered for sale on the Saskatoon multiple listing service declined again, falling fifty-three properties from last week to nine-hundred and forty-three, reaching their lowest level since early May of 2008. On a year-over-year basis, total active residential listings are down six hundred and sixty-one properties. The existing inventory of single-family detached houses sits at five hundred and fifty-six, down from nine hundred and seventy-nine for the same week last year. Active condo listings are presently at three hundred and twenty-one, off from five hundred and twenty-three at this time last year.

The number of cancelled or withdrawn listings fell to just sixteen this week, and seven of those rose from the ashes (hey, it’s Halloween) to reappear as a new listing on the Saskatoon MLS system. Approximately zero home buyers were fooled by the move. An additional forty-eight sellers adjusted their asking price in hopes of attracting a buyer.

It was another huge week for condominiums which accounted for thirty-six of the eighty-three reported sales. Perhaps more significant, ten of those condos showed sale prices from $75,000 to $99,900. Consequently, the average selling price of a Saskatoon home took a beating falling to just $254,912, its lowest level since June of this year and about thirty-five thousand dollars below the same week a year ago. The six-week average slipped four thousand dollars from a week before to $276,159, and finished roughly sixteen thousand dollars below last year’s number. The four-week median price slid six thousand dollars from last week to $264,000, off nine thousand dollars from the same week in 2008.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

Lower sale prices brought the average underbid down from $9,807 last week to $9,043. The average discount as a percentage of the asking price in those instances where the home traded below list price was about 3.4%, just a slight change from last week when it was 3.6%. The percentage of home sellers who struck a deal within ten thousand dollars of the asking price increased again to seventy-seven percent, while the percentage that closed within five thousand dollars fell from fifty-three to forty-one percent.

Thanks again for reading. Have a spooky day!

Map displaying the boundaries of Saskatoon real estate areas
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.

Real estate geeks can follow our daily updates on Twitter @norm_fisher.

Our Saskatoon home search tool offers MLS listings represented by all real estate brands, presented with more detail than you’ll find anywhere else. Check it out here.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate

Lake Placid will miss City of Saskatoon's payment deadline

Media Release

Release: Immediate
Date: Friday October 30, 2009
Contact: Mike Lobsinger, Chief Executive Officer Lake Placid Group of Companies

(Saskatoon, SK, Canada): Michael E. Lobsinger, Chief Executive Officer of the Lake Placid Group of Companies, announced today that Lake Placid is in a situation where delays have arisen around the deadline with the City of Saskatoon. For this, Lake Placid sincerely apologizes.

International finance is a complex and time consuming process. Lake Placid continues to work with its international financier to provide the $200 Million credit facility that is required for the development of Saskatoon River Landing.

All development and legislative approvals were not obtained until May 2009. Pursuant to the lender’s written financial commitment, the financing is still expected to arrive but will not do so in time to meet the October 30 deadline. The City of Saskatoon will be advised that although Lake Placid is not in a position to meet today’s deadline, it may be in that position very shortly.

It is particularly unfortunate that circumstances beyond the control of Lake Placid have resulted in missing this important deadline. Lake Placid has spent two years and over $7 Million planning this premier development which includes payment to the City of Saskatoon of over $700,000. Lake Placid has received significant interest from the local community for the purchase of residential properties, and from commercial tenants and hoteliers. They will be contacted directly.

Lake Placid would like to thank all of the supporters of this project including the City of Saskatoon administration, City Council and the Mayor’s office for their significant support in the progress made to date. In addition, Lake Placid would like to thank the Premier of Saskatchewan and the appropriate Ministers who worked diligently to pass the necessary amendments to the Condominium Properties Act and the Land Titles Act which allow for the development of mixed use projects in Saskatchewan. Without those legislative amendments which were passed in May 2009, this project could not have proceeded.

Lake Placid believes in the future of the great city of Saskatoon and has every intention of developing there in the near future. The company thanks everyone for their patience and understanding in this matter.

Grocery store to open in downtown Saskatoon

Renovations are already underway on the main level of the 2nd Avenue Lofts in downtown Saskatoon. According to a media release issued by The Partnership yesterday, the retail space located at the corner of 2nd Avenue North and 23rd Street East will be home to the Uptown Market, a full service independent grocery store which will also house a deli and a coffee shop.

A British Columbia businessman, Rexy Silva and his daughter, Tabitha will operate the Uptown Market and offer a full selection of fresh produce, meats, eggs, dairy products and other essentials. They hope to have the 5,200 square foot grocery store open by Christmas of this year.

Saskatoon’s Central Business District has been without a grocery store since late 2004 when the Extra Foods on 3rd Avenue North closed its doors.

Learn more about the Central Business District.

If you live in Saskatoon we’d sure appreciate hearing your comments about your neighbourhood. Please visit our “Saskatoon neighbourhoods” page and let us know what you love about your community.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate

Saskatoon real estate week in review–October 19-23 2009

Unit sales of single-family detached houses and condominiums saw a small increase to sixty-six units this week, up seven properties from last week and sharply higher than the same week last year when Saskatoon real estate agents reported just thirty-eight sales to the multiple listing service. While our market is unquestionably seeing a typical seasonal slow down, interest and activity seem to be stronger than we would expect for this time of year. Month-to-date, total residential sales sit at two hundred and twenty-five properties with a full week remaining in the month. Total sales for October of 2008 were two hundred and thirteen while the five-year average for the month of October is two hundred and forty-eight, a number which we will certainly see beat this year by around twenty percent, even if it’s a slow week.

New listings of Saskatoon homes also bounced slightly higher to seventy-two units, up from sixty-four listings last week, but lower than the same week last year when ninety-five properties were offered for sale.

Active listings in the residential category declined again. The change was small, but enough to pull the total inventory of Saskatoon MLS listings below the one thousand unit threshold for the first time in sixteen months. The week closed showing nine hundred and ninety-six active listings, ten fewer than last week, and well off of the sixteen hundred and ninety homes that were available last year at this time. The total active inventory consists of five hundred and eighty-three single-family homes and three hundred and forty-eight condos. Last year at this time, those two numbers stood at one thousand and fifty, and five hundred and thirty-three respectively.

Just twenty-one listings were cancelled or withdrawn from the market this week and fifteen of those re-appeared amongst the “new listings” for another kick, most at a new price. An additional thirty-nine home sellers adjusted the asking price on their home hoping to bag a buyer before winter sets in and demand softens further.

Twenty-seven of this week’s sixty-six sales were condos, and consequently, the average selling price of a Saskatoon home took a huge dip falling to its lowest point since June. The average finished at just $265,032, thirty-eight thousand dollars behind last week, and fifteen thousand dollars lower than it was at this time last year. The six-week average fell fifty-four hundred dollars on a week-over-week basis to close at $280,016, about fifteen thousand five hundred dollars off of last year’s number. The four-week median fell to $270,000, down from $272,900 last week, and falling below last year’s number by five thousand dollars.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

In spite of lower prices overall, Saskatoon home sellers did reasonably well when it came to negotiations with eight sales at list price, six sales above asking price, and the remaining fifty-two properties averaging a discount of just $9,807, down from last week in real dollars, but a higher discount as a percentage of the asking price. The average discount where sales occurred below asking price was 3.6%, up from 3.2% last week. However, a significantly lower median led to many more sales within $5,000 of the asking price as this category accounts for fifty-three percent of all sales, up from thirty-five percent last week, and about as high as I ever recall it being.

Aggressive price growth in Canada’s largest markets continues to push the average price of a Canadian home higher, and in fact, they’re now at record levels of $331,602. Toronto’s average selling price is up $40,000 year-over-year to $406,877 and Vancouver’s prices have increased $75,000 over the same period. I suppose we can consider ourselves lucky to have what appears to be some measure of house price stability in Saskatoon, but it’s hard not to feel that something is going terribly wrong in Canadian housing and I can’t help but wonder how we’ll be impacted if a house of cards begins to fall in our nation’s largest markets. This week, the media was buzzing with talk of a Canadian real estate bubble. Here are a handful of the stories that ran this week.

Bank of Canada monitors real estate surge
CMHC bubble is 100% Canadian made
Why Canada’s housing bubble will burst
CMHC’s growth fuels worries over new risks
Carney urges prudence in housing market

Expect to hear more of this talk in the weeks ahead as our government attempts to throw some cool water on a housing market that appears to be out of control.

Personally, I think prices are reaching their peak across the nation and that some cracks are beginning to show. In Saskatoon, where prices have remained flat for most of 2009, there is probably little hope for sellers that better times than these are on the horizon. If you want to sell your home, you should probably put that goal at the top of your priority list to complete before the end of 2009. This little real estate boom could end as abruptly as it started earlier this year. That’s what my gut is telling me today.

Map displaying the boundaries of Saskatoon real estate areas
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.

Real estate geeks can follow our daily updates on Twitter @Norm_Fisher.

Our Saskatoon home search tool offers MLS listings represented by all real estate brands, presented with more detail than you’ll find anywhere else. Check it out here.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate