Saskatoon real estate week in review–November 23-27 2009

Saskatoon real estate sales continued on a downward trend this week at a predictable rate for the last week of November. A total of forty-seven houses and condominiums were reported sold to the Saskatoon multiple listing service, a strong drop from the sixty-one properties last week, but up from the same week last year when just thirty-seven homes were sold.

New listings of detached houses and condos also headed south but at a much slower rate falling just two units from last week to sixty-seven listings, a drop of ten units when compared to the same week in 2008.

Typically, we can expect MLS sales and listings to continuing trending down through the month of December until they reach their low point for the year during the final week of the month.

The inventory of active Saskatoon real estate listings (entire residential category) slipped again falling nine units from last week to eight hundred and seventy-three, and remaining well below last year’s level of fifteen hundred and thirty-four. Single-family detached homes are at five hundred and fifteen and the condo inventory sits at three hundred and four.

You’ll notice that our active listing chart is clearly showing that year-over-year declines in listing inventory is getting a little smaller each week in terms of real numbers. I found it interesting that the percentage decline is actually growing. When we compare year-over-year declines against peak inventory in 2008 we were off by thirty-seven percent. As of this week, the inventory of Saskatoon real estate listings is down forty-three percent compared to the same week last year.

Cancelled and withdrawn listings fell off by more than fifty percent on a week-over-week basis to just nineteen homes. Seven of those were immediately listed again, most at a new price. Twenty-six sellers adjusted their asking price this week.

The average selling price of a Saskatoon home bounced back from last week gaining more than thirteen thousand dollars to reach $268,971, roughly twenty-five thousand dollars lower than it was during the same week in 2008. The six-week average continued to be pushed lower falling a little more than five thousand dollars on a week-over-week basis to $272,568, more than twelve thousand dollars lower than it was at this time last year and reaching its lowest point since spring of 2009. The four-week median also slid lower by about twelve thousand dollars compared to last week to finish at $263,000, down seven thousand dollars from the same week last year.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

The average underbid came in slightly higher than last week moving from $9,113 to $9,876. As a percentage of the selling price, homes that sold below list price went at an average discount of 3.7%, higher than last week when it was 3.4%. Clearly these numbers were skewed by a small number of large discounts including one property that was listed at nearly $230,000 yet sold for just $165,000. More than fifty percent of homes sold this week went for a discount of five thousand dollars or less, and a full eighty-one percent sold within ten thousand dollars of the asking price, which I believe would be the highest percentage this year.

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

Our Saskatoon homes search tool gets some nice updates

MyRealPage, the people who provide us with the ability to deliver MLS listings through our website are some of the industry’s best. They deliver a smooth and effective search product with regular updates to enhance the home search experience. Today, they added some nice improvements to the search functionality that I think make a huge difference for users of the search tool.

The updates are live and functional now, available behind the “Saskatoon Homes” tab at the right side of the navigation bar, just below the header image on this page.

Check out the “Show More Options” link highlighted in the image below where you can select certain styles of home (bungalow, two-storey, etc.) or specify the type of garage you most prefer.

Even better, notice the “Kitchens” drop down menu which allows you to easily identify homes with rental suites (both legal and non-legal), and just as easily eliminate them from your search results if you’re not interested in having a suite in your home.

If you’re interested in an easy and effective home search tool, you must take some time to explore ours. Here are just a few of the advantages over realtor.ca.

  • Updated far more frequently to give you quicker access to new listings from all real estate brands
  • Search by neighbourhood, map, MLS number or property address
  • More search fields for fully customized results
  • Many additional data fields displayed including taxes, days on the market and more Cooliris slideshow functionality
  • Mapping functionality for Google maps and Google Earth
  • Neighbourhood “Walk Scores” which maps amenities in each area
  • Save your favorite searches for easy access on return visits
  • Enable and disable email notifications for new listings and price reductions
  • Choose from numerous sorting and listing view options
  • Save your favorite listings for easy review
  • Mobile access to your account on an iPhone or a Google Android device
  • Easy contact options for additional information with our assurance that you’ll never be contacted unless you ask for assistance

Please check it out on our Saskatoon Homes page. You won’t be disappointed.

My thanks to Bill Skrypnyk, Technical Director for MyRealPage and everyone else who contributes to the hard work that goes into delivering a great product. You’ve been super to deal with every step of the way.

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.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate

Trend towards improved housing affordability reverses in Q3-2009: RBC

From RBC’s November 2009 Housing Trends and Affordability Study

The string of significant improvements in housing affordability in Canada finally came to an end in the third quarter. RBC’s affordability measures rose at the national level for the first time in six quarters for all housing types.

All provinces and major metro markets shared in the deterioration in affordability in the third quarter. British Columbia, especially Vancouver, posted the biggest increases by far in the RBC measures. Toronto and Calgary also recorded notable increases for some housing types, while the rise in the cost of home ownership in the rest of the country has generally been modest.

After steadily improving for more than a year, housing affordability in Saskatchewan deteriorated modestly in the third quarter, with RBC’s affordability measures climbing between 0.5 and 1.0-percentage points. This reflected higher mortgage payments that have resulted from the small increase in mortgage rates as well as stronger property values in many areas of the province. While the cost of home ownership declined substantially in the past year, it remains historically high in the province, as it has only partly reversed the unprecedented increase registered during the boom from late-2006 to early-2008. However, levels that prevailed prior to the boom might have been depressed by previously unfavourable migration flows, which have since reversed. Overall, resale activity in Saskatchewan continues to carry tremendous momentum, being especially vigorous in the past few months with levels close to the records set in late-2007 and early-2008.

Read the full RBC report here.

Thanks to Jen for the heads up on the release of this report.

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

Is there a Canadian housing bubble?: Scotiabank

Scotiabank economists Derek Holt and Karen Cordes address the housing bubble question examining Canadian valuations using a number of measures. They find prices to be “rich by any measure,” but conclude that they may go higher before they come down.

“Canadian house prices are rich no matter how one looks at it, but they are likely to become richer yet before material risks emerge later next year and beyond. The implications for the Canadian economy, mortgage markets, and monetary policy must, however, take full consideration of profound microeconomic differences between the Canadian and US mortgage markets. We also argue that the implications of strong house price gains on the Bank of Canada’s conditional commitment to keep rates on hold until the end of 2010Q2 are exaggerated for seven key reasons.”

Read the full report 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.

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
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Central Avenue improvements pitched to Saskatoon City Council

As the Sutherland area approaches its 100th birthday the Sutherland Business Improvement District (SBID) is hoping that Saskatoon city council will recognize the need for a facelift on Central Avenue and approve funding for the proposed project in its 2010 capital budget.

According to a story in today’s Star Phoenix, the SBID presented a report to council last night and proposed three improvements for the main thoroughfare that separates Sutherland from neighbouring Forest Grove. SBID is recommending a “sound and dust attenuation wall” adjacent to the CP rail line, the design and construction of a “public plaza,” and an active pedestrian crossing at the 110th Street intersection.

Ward 1 councillor Darren Hill stands with the business group hoping to help make Central Avenue “more pedestrian friendly.”

Several business closings in recent years have led to a perception of a deteriorating Central Avenue. SBID and councilor Hill believe that the proposed improvements will revitalize the area.

Read the Star Phoenix story here.
Visit our Sutherland neighbourhood profile page.
Visit our Forest Grove neighbourhood profile page.

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