Saskatoon real estate week in review: January 25-29 2010

Following a few weeks of sales that were softer than expected and listing activity that appeared to be escalating both of those short-term trends reversed directions.

Saskatoon real estate agents reported a total of sixty-three single-family home and condominium sales to the local MLS system, an increase of eighteen properties over last week and a gain of seventeen when compared to the same week last year. Each of the previous few weeks recorded year-over-year declines in unit sales for the Saskatoon area.

New listings in the same categories plummeted dropping by more than half of the previous week’s volume to finish roughly thirty percent behind the same week in 2009 as just fifty-eight homes were offered for sale.

After three consecutive weeks of gains that saw total active residential listings climb by about one hundred and thirty properties, inventory levels softened slightly and slipped to 734 homes. That number is down from 751 last week, and well off of the 1,134 homes available at this time last year, but still more than double the number of homes for sale at this time in 2008 when levels reached historical lows for the month of January. There are currently 412 single-family homes for sale and 281 condos, down from 416 and 290 respectively at the close of the previous week.

In single-family homes, inventory remains tightest in the $200,000-$300,000 range where you’ll find a total of eighty-six houses showing a for sale sign. With January sales at forty-six units, there’s a little less than a two-month supply. Conversely, house buyers have some serious options above the $400,000 mark with just nineteen sales in January and 180 properties available.

In Saskatoon condominiums, you’ll see similar supply trends in the same price ranges.  Between 200K and 300K, we see twenty-seven January sales compared to eighty-one active listings. Above $400,000 there is a selection of forty-three units but not single sale recorded during the month of January.

Just seven MLS® listings were cancelled or withdrawn from the multiple listing service this week and not one of them returned disguised as a new listing. An additional sixteen home sellers adjusted their asking price, with all but three moving lower.

After reaching their lowest point in nearly a year average sale prices continued to push up for the second consecutive week reaching levels more typical of the Q3/2009 action. In spite of the upward direction that the average took the year-over-year gains that we’ve been seeing over the past seven weeks vanished. The average sale prices for Saskatoon houses and condos hit $290,133 this week, a gain of nearly $20,000 over the previous week but pretty much level with the same week in 2009. The six-week average managed to slip about a thousand dollars on a week-over-week basis but remained about two thousand dollars higher than it was last year at this time. The four-week median climbed two thousand dollars from last week but finished lower than the same week last year by six thousand dollars.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

The average underbid jumped back from the low $7,341 of last week to $11,280. Buyers who managed to negotiate a discount off of the asking price saw an average price drop of 3.6%, up from the unusually low 2.4% recorded last week.

Four sellers managed to wrap up a deal above the asking price with the average sale recorded at $3,550 above list.

Saskatoon real estate statistics from the Week in review - January 25-29 2010

Highlights from the news this week

An interest rate hike this summer?
Canada home prices rise for seventh consecutive month
How much do your neighbours owe on their mortgage?
Real estate sales likely to moderate (BC)
Saskatoon housing “seriously unaffordable”
Saskatchewan forecast to lead nation in growth
Job prospects remain positive (Saskatoon and Regina)

A map displaying the boundaries of Saskatoon real estate areas is here.
An overview of data collection and calculation practices for our statistical reports 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.

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

Home renovation tax credit deadline looms but there may still be time for you

The opportunity to take advantage of Canada’s Home Renovation Tax Credit expires at midnight on January 31. Obviously, the clock has run out when it comes to hiring a contractor but a quick trip to your favorite home renovation store might be in order if home improvements are part of your plan over the next few months. Items purchased before the close of business this Sunday may qualify for a 15% tax credit up to $1,350.

More info 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

Housing affordability in Saskatoon shows modest year-over-year improvement

I can’t imagine that it would come as much of a surprise to anyone that the cost of home ownership in Saskatoon has skyrocketed in recent years. According to the recently released “6th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey” owning a Saskatoon home priced at the median in Q3/2009 would have cost about 4.4 times the median household income, a sharp increase from 2.6 times median income we enjoyed in Q3/2006. Saskatoon saw one of the steepest declines in affordability between 2006 and 2008 placing us among the ranks of the “seriously unaffordable,” according to Demographia’s ranking system. On the brighter side, our city saw some small improvements from Q3/2008 when 4.6 years of income was required to buy that home.

The following chart shows the changes in affordability levels in some of Canada’s most active real estate markets over the past five surveys. Click the image for a larger view.

I was a bit surprised to see that affordability at a national level really hasn’t changed significantly in the past five years. Canada’s “median multiple” comes in at 3.7 years, up from the lows of 3.1 in Q3/2007 but just slightly higher than the 3.6 years in Q3/2005.

Vancouver “wins the gold medal” as the most severely unaffordable housing market in the world requiring 9.3 times to median household income, an increase of almost a year in just twelve months time.

See the entire Demographia survey for 2010 and past reports for 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006.

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

Saskatoon real estate week in review: January 18-22 2010

Home sales in Saskatoon continued at a sluggish pace picking up just five units over the previous week to finish with forty-five houses and condos firmly sold, a drop of thirty-five percent compared to the same week last year when 69 homes found a sold sign. Unless the coming week produces sales that are double what we’ve been seeing over the past few weeks we appear to be headed for a rather weak January, one which seems oddly out of place given the robust sales of the past two quarters.  The five-year average for total residential sales in January is 208 properties. So far this month just 114 sales have been reported.

Once again, new listings recorded strong numbers at one hundred and twenty-three homes, a gain of thirty-six compared to the week before and thirty-seven more than were listed during the same week of 2008.

Total active residential listings moved higher again for the third consecutive week and reached 751 properties, up fifty-six units from the week before, but sharply lower than the 1,192 Saskatoon homes available at the same time last year. This morning, there are 416 single-family homes and 290 condominiums offered for sale on the Saskatoon MLS® system. Those numbers are down from 710 and 406 respectively compared to the same time in 2009.

Sixteen MLS® listings were cancelled or withdrawn from the multiple listing service this week. Nine of those homes quickly re-appeared disguised as a new listing. An additional twenty home sellers adjusted their asking price, all but a few moving lower.

After sliding lower for three consecutive weeks, the return of some upper end buyers moved the average selling price of a Saskatoon home higher to $269,289, nearly twenty thousand dollars higher than it was last week and twelve hundred dollars more than it was during this same week in 2009. The six-week average continued to slide lower and reached $276,660, lower than last week by roughly seven thousand dollars, but ahead of the number recorded during the same week last year by about twenty-six hundred dollars. The four-week median sale price edged forward reaching $257,000, up four-thousand dollars from last week and lower than it was during the same period in 2009 by five thousand dollars.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

The average underbid fell back to $7,341, down from $8,997 last week, for an average discount of 2.4 percent of the asking price, a full percentage point lower than it was last week when Saskatoon home buyers managed an average discount of 3.4 percent.

A map displaying the boundaries of Saskatoon real estate areas is here.
An overview of data collection and calculation practices for our statistical reports 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.

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

Saskatoon real estate week in review: January 11-15 2010

Saskatoon home sales continued to move at a slower than expected pace this week as real estate agents reported firm sales on just forty single-family homes and condominiums. Forty sales marks a notable increase from last week when just twenty-five homes sold, but it leaves us down on a year-over-year basis for the second consecutive week following a long string of weekly increases. During the same week last year Saskatoon real estate agents reported forty-eight sales for the same period.

New listings, on the other hand, picked up a bit of steam and increased to eighty-seven properties, up from seventy-five last week, but still down compared to the same week last year when ninety-three Saskatoon homes were offered for sale on the multiple listing service.

With new listings more than doubling our sales volume active listings pushed higher again to reach 695 units, up from 665 last week, and well above the year end low of 619 properties. Year-over-year, total active residential listings remain sharply lower than the 1191 units which were available at this time last year.

On a week-over week basis, the inventory of single-family homes remained steady at 388, while condo inventory pushed higher from 235 units to 259. The remaining gains to the inventory were mostly seen in duplexes and semi-detached homes.

The average selling price of a Saskatoon home moved lower for the third consecutive week, falling roughly nine thousand dollars from last week to $249,861. The six-week average saw similar movement in the same downward direction to finish the week at $283,509, about thirteen thousand dollars higher than it was for the same period last year. The four-week median tumbled the hardest falling seventeen thousand dollars on a week-over-week basis to just $252,850, lower than the same week in 2009 by a little better than twelve thousand dollars.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

The average underbid gained about six hundred dollars compared to last week but still fell short of the ten thousand dollar mark at $9,628. Lower list and sale prices saw the average discount rise to 3.7%, up from 3.1% last week.

A map displaying the boundaries of Saskatoon real estate areas is here.
An overview of data collection and calculation practices for our statistical reports 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.

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