Saskatoon real estate week in review: July 19-23 2010

Sales of single-family detached homes (houses) and condos showed some strength this week as Saskatoon real estate agents reported eighty-eight firm sales across all areas of the city, a gain of fourteen compared to the previous week, but short of last year’s performance by ten units.

While unit sales pushed higher, new listings moved in the opposite direction for the second consecutive week. Agents brought seventy-seven single-family homes and thirty-three condominium listings to the Saskatoon Multiple Listing Service® this week for a total of 110 new listings, down five properties from last week, but up eight from the same period last year. Still, this was one of the three slowest weeks for new listings since late March when the spring rush really began.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

The active inventory of Saskatoon real estate listings continued to show some stubbornness maintaining a near straight line since delivering its first significant drop for the year at the close of June. This morning, there are 1368 active listings in the residential category of the Saskatoon MLS®, a drop of just six compared to last week and higher than it was at this time in 2009 when buyers had 1290 properties to choose from. This morning, buyers will find a selection of 808 single-family homes and 479 condominiums for sale. The balance of the inventory is made up of semi-detached homes, duplexes, mobile homes and vacant land. Most of the year-over-year active inventory gains can be counted in the condo category, which has risen from 406 at this time last year. At the same point in 2009 there were roughly 790 single-family homes available on the Saskatoon MLS®.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

Cancelled and withdrawn listings fell to just twenty-nine with sixteen of those immediately returning to the system bearing a new MLS® number. Additionally, forty-eight Saskatoon home sellers made an adjustment to their pricing strategy hoping to meet a buyer before the summer months are behind us.

Home prices continued in that up and down pattern that we’ve seen over the past couple of weeks. This week, down took its turn as the average price paid for a Saskatoon home tumbled twenty-five thousand dollars compared to last week to settle at $279,306. The six-week average took another solid step down dropping more than five thousand dollars from last week to settle at $290,315 and reaching its lowest point since the week of April 5-9, just seven thousand dollars higher than it was for the same week in 2009. The four-week median price of a Saskatoon home followed the other two measures and finished lower on a week-over-week basis by five thousand dollars as it slipped to $275,000. The four-week median price remains up by five thousand dollars on a year-over-year basis but is down by fourteen thousand dollars from its peak weeks in May and June.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

Overbidding continued to be a rarity with just two Saskatoon home sellers reporting a sale price that was greater than the list price by an average of $2,724. Seven sellers managed to get every penny they asked. Seventy-nine of eighty-eight sales required an earnest negotiation with the buyer bagging an average discount of $9,287, or roughly 3.3 percent of the asking price.

Click the image for a larger version of the chart.

Highlights from the news this week

Weather to have ‘significant impact’ on Saskatchewan’s economic growth in 2010
Office vacancy rate falls (local)
Bank of Canada ratchets down growth forecast
Inflation rate slows in June
Bank of Canada raises interest rates
EI numbers rise in Saskatoon and Regina (local)
Out of town: Nine country knockouts

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

Saskatoon real estate week in review: July 12-16 2010

Saskatoon real estate sales fell back to a level that has become about average over the past few months. Local agents reported firm sales on fifty single-family homes (houses) and twenty-four condominiums for a total of seventy-four units sales, a drop of sixteen compared to last week, and eighteen fewer than were reported during the same week last year.

New listings also slid lower as Saskatoon home sellers offered up seventy-four single-family homes and forty-one condominiums for a total of 115 listings, a drop of nine from the previous week and a gain of just one when compared with the same week in 2009.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

A few weeks ago, the total number of residential listings available on the Saskatoon MLS® reached its highest point for the year at 1427 units. Coincidentally, that number pretty much matched the levels we saw in both 2008 and 2009 for very same week. Of course, in 2008 and 2009 inventory levels headed in different directions after that week and the obvious question that came forward was, “Which of the two paths will this year’s inventory follow?” Just a few weeks later, the answer seems to be “neither.” We did see a bit of a drop as listings that expired at the end of June came off of the system, but since then the total number of Saskatoon homes for sale has remained steady. This week, total inventory finished at 1374 units, up just one from last week and higher than it was at this time last year by sixty-four units, or roughly five percent. As of this morning there are 810 single-family homes and 484 condominiums showing an active status on the Saskatoon MLS® system.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

Cancelled and withdrawn listings came in at forty-three with just twenty of those actually staying off the market. Twenty-three returned on the same day they were cancelled disguised as a new listing. Sixty-five home sellers adjusted their asking price this week.

Encouraged by two high-end sales that averaged $870,000 each, the average selling price of a Saskatoon home moved higher for the second week in a row and reached $304,676. The six-week average still managed a week-over-week decline of almost four thousand dollars and slipped to $295,514 to finish about fourteen thousand dollars higher than it was for the same week last year. Following four weeks of declines the four-week median sale price took a fifty six hundred dollar gain when compared with the previous week. It closed the week at $279,900, up just nine hundred dollars on a year-over-year basis.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

Once again, the majority of reported sales came in at a price that was lower than asking. Sixty-eight of seventy-four successful home sellers gave up an average of $10,221 or 3.3 percent of the asking price. Two sellers hit their number and four managed a deal above the asking price with an average overbid of $5,113.

The changes that we’re seeing in the market really don’t come as much of a surprise to me given that nearly everyone who normally has a voice in the Canadian housing market has warned of a slow down in the second half of the year. It started in May with very marginal declines. The drop in unit sales accelerated in June and we finished the month seventeen percent lower than the previous year. July is definitely feeling even slower. After the close of business on July 15 just 154 sales had been reported so far for the month putting us on pace for total monthly sales of 308 units, assuming the pace continues at its current level. That would amount to a thirty-percent decline over the previous year and sales that are twenty-one percent below the five-year average for July. Add five percent to the inventory of active listings and it a very different market. Here’s hoping that it doesn’t get much worse than that. ☺

Click the image for a larger version of the chart.

Highlights from the news this week

Housing starts rebuild momentum (local)
Home sales continue to drop
U.S. banks repossess homes at record pace
Canadian real estate – A soft landing or something worse?
Competition watchdog, realtors face off in court this April
Home sales down in June (local)
What’s next for the Canadian housing market?
Rise in housing starts forecast for Saskatoon (local)

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

Saskatoon is growing, living the good life and planning for the future

Apparently, we have it pretty good in Saskatoon, at least compared to most.

Housing starts are rocking the charts once again and you can’t go anywhere in this town without running into some massive non-residential construction project. They’re everywhere.

According to the City of Saskatoon’s most recent population estimate, roughly 223,200 people were calling Saskatoon home as of June 30, an increase of approximately 5,000 from a year ago. That “estimate” is pretty consistent with Statistics Canada’s most recent numbers for Saskatchewan that indicate our provincial population grew by more than 16,000 in the past year to reach its highest point ever.

One can only assume that our ability to continue expanding employment is a driving force in that growth.

New entrants need not fear a sudden adjustment on the lifestyle scale. We know how to have a good time. We know how to blow the dough. A new study (via JenCT), published in the Sask Trends Monitor for June says household spending between 2006 and 2008 grew at three times the national average in Saskatchewan. We found a way to increase spending by an average of 7.3 percent during each of those years as the value of our homes skyrocketed. Credit was cheap and easy to come by. It still is, really.

Now before you start wagging your finger and talking your neighbours down for their financial recklessness, you should know that another new study (via Larry) says that the household net worth of those living in Saskatoon saw a huge increase over the past year, that our household debt is well below the national average and that we’re looking pretty good when it comes to our investment portfolios.

On the surface, this appears to be one recession the people of Saskatchewan won’t soon forget.

Generally speaking, would you say your family is better off or worse off than it was five years ago? I would love to hear your thoughts.

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

Saskatoon real estate week in review: July 5-9 2010

Following a soft sales week, largely precipitated by a short Canada Day work week, unit sales bounced back as Saskatoon real estate agents reported a total of ninety house and condo sales to the local MLS®. Compared to the previous week, unit sales moved higher by thirty-two but finished just below the ninety-one homes that traded during the same week last year.

New listings also came on strong with 126 home sellers offering a house or condo for sale on the Saskatoon MLS® system, a gain of forty units compared to last week and almost two dozen more than were listed during the same period in 2009.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

After tumbling fifty-five units as we entered the month of July to mark the first substantial weekly decline we had seen in 2010, the inventory of active residential MLS® listings snapped back to the near straight line that it had been following for the five weeks prior. Total inventory remained steady at 1373, a gain of just one on the previous week, but fifty units more than were available at the close of the same week one year ago. By this time last year active listings were in steady decline falling almost every week through the balance of the year. While inventory seems to be a bit more stubborn this year, active sellers may be somewhat encouraged that it’s lower now than it was six weeks ago, and that many of the listings that expired at the end of June may remain on the sidelines for now.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

Cancelled and withdrawn listings bounced higher to reach fifty-one units but as usual, roughly half of those were immediately re-listed to add to the active listings numbers once more. Most of them came back at a lower asking price. An additional seventy-six MLS® listings recorded a price change over the course of the week.

The average selling price of a Saskatoon home surged back this week, reaching $296,479 and continuing the erratic up and down bounce that has been going on for several weeks. The six-week average inched higher and continued near the peak range for the year growing by nearly three thousand dollars over the previous week. The new number of $298,616 represents a gain to the six-week average of nearly seventeen thousand dollars over the same week last year. The four-week median price showed its fourth consecutive slide producing modest week-over-week declines to finish just below $275,000 for the first time since early April. This week’s four-week median price of $274,350 fell short of the number generated during the same week in 2009 when it was $276,500 and marks the first year-over-year decline in the four-week median sale price since February opened.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

The vast majority of the firm sales reported to the Saskatoon multiple listing service® this week showed a selling price below asking (83/90). The average underbid came in at $9,108, a three percent discount. Four sellers reported an above list sale price with the numbers being severally skewed by one new home sale including some extras and produced a sale price that exceeded asking by $60K. With that sale excluded, the average overbid was just $1,475. Three sellers got their full list price.

Click the image for a larger version of the chart.

Highlights from the news this week

First-time buyers want more for less
BMO lowers mortgage rates
Housing market stable (local)
House prices and sales to decline: Royal LePage
Remai buys choice 8th Street site (local)
Drop in home sales may be sign of peak
My mover sounded great on Craigslist
New-house prices rise in May
Entry-level houses prices rise, condos gain most (local)
Calgary tower now Canada’s second tallest building
Prices of new homes rose this spring (local)
House prices level
High marks for Canada’s real estate market

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

Rivergreen ecovillage shows up with a cheque for parcel at River Landing

Rivergreen Ecovillage Inc. and the City of Saskatoon have signed an agreement for the sale of the parcel of land at the corner of Avenue C and 19th Street near the Saskatoon Farmer’s Market in Riversdale.

The developer placed a deposit equal to ten percent of the $1.5 million dollar purchase price and must still secure financing and pay the balance owing by June 30, 2011. If successful, Rivergreen plans to construct a 65-unit condominium project on the 1.4 acre parcel at River Landing Phase II.

More on this deal at David Hutton’s blog here.