Saskatoon real estate week in review: December 26-30, 2011

The final week of sales for the Saskatoon real estate market closed as it always does. That being, very quietly. The city’s agents reported a total of 36 single-family home and condo sales to the Saskatoon multiple listing service®, 26 fewer homes then were sold the previous week, for an annual gain of six when compared against trades recorded during the same week in 2010.I’m always surprised when anyone lists their home over the holiday week, but 21 homes did find their way to the MLS® system this week, precisely the number that went live during the same week a year ago, but nearly half the number that were offered for sale the previous week.The total inventory of active residential listings on the Saskatoon Multiple Listing Service® slipped again, as expected, falling 41 units from the previous week to 912 properties to finish well above the number recorded at the end of the same week last year when inventory plunged to just 788. It’s also worth pointing out that the same week last year closed on the 31st of December, so a slew of month end expired listings had just fallen out of the inventory when we made our weekly report. Likewise, this year, there are about 100 listings that will expire as the year closes later today, making the year-over-year gain to a less significant number than it appears today.

As of this morning, there are 510 single-family homes and 342 condominiums showing an active flag on the MLS®. By tomorrow, those numbers will have slipped to 483 and 315 respectively. At the close of the same week last year, the two categories sat at just 439 and 298 respectively. No matter how you slice it, it looks like we’ll be kicking off 2012 with nearly ten percent more inventory than we had had the opening of 2011. However, the chart for active listings makes it pretty clear that inventory levels at the start of the year don’t provide any solid signals as to where they might go.

Cancelled and withdrawn listings fell to nearly none as just nine sellers pulled their property from the market. Two of them did the immediate re-list hoping to convince the market that the listing is “new.”  Another 11 sellers changed their pricing strategy by bringing it down, while two more listings reached the end of their time on the market without a sale.

The average selling price of a Saskatoon home slipped lower to $311,341 after climbing close to $20,000 over the previous two weeks. The six-week average pushed higher by twenty-four hundred dollars from last week to finish at $316,608 for an annual gain of roughly nine thousand dollars. Finally, the four-week median fell back over three thousand dollars from last week to close the week at $300,888. That’s up nearly $21K from the close of the same week last year when it slipped to just $280,000, a number that was low enough to appear out of sync with what had become the norm at that time, and a level that we haven’t reached since then. The numbers coming into 2011 almost present a better baseline for comparison of year-over-year sale prices. Using those, we see growth in the six-week average of around $11,000 and a gain to the four-week median of just $6,400.

Overbidding was pretty much a thing of the past last week, except for a few new homes reported sold substantially higher than list price in spite of lengthy market times, which we typically count as having sold at list (assuming that some extras were negotiated into the deal). Full list price sales came in at just seven, while 29 of 36 firm sales required some back and forth at the negotiating table with the sellers giving up an average of $10,900 to successfully close the sale.

Highlights from the news this week.

Classic bubble signs in Canadian housing market: Merrill – Globe and Mail
Canadian real estate in the middle of the pack globally – Canada.com
New population record for Saskatoon in sight – Star Phoenix
Real estate slowdown that wasn’t is now expected in 2012 – CTV
Aging baby boomers helping to change Canada’s housing market: CMHC – Globe & Mail
Saskatchewan economy sets records and attracts investors in 2011 – Govt. of Sask release
Real estate bubble in 2012? Nah, it’s starting to float back to earth – Globe and Mail

I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions. All of my contact info is here. Please feel free to call of email me.

Get the most current market intelligence with our FREE Market Snapshot including prices of homes recently sold in your area. Get it here, now.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate

What does 2012 have in store for the Canadian real estate market?

As 2011 draws to a close it’s clear that Canadian housing has performed better than most expected this year. It’s also clear, that in some markets, buoyant conditions and aggressive price increases have some experts talking about a price bubble again. There are a wide range of commentary, opinions and predictions coming forward and I thought I’d share those that I’m currently aware of, from those who profess to be experts. So, what does 2012 have in store for the Canadian housing market? It depends on who you’re talking to.
BMO

BMO’s Douglas Porter expects the Bank of Canada to hold interest rates through 2012, perhaps even drop them further. According to Porter, Vancouver will lose its status as Canada’s hottest housing market being replaced by Calgary and Edmonton.

BMO’s five fearless forecasts for next year – Globe and Mail

TD Economics

TD also sees the most promising signs for a strong market in Calgary and Edmonton while Toronto and Vancouver will experience the most serious price corrections.

Estimating that Canadian home prices are 10-15 percent overvalued, TD predicts that resale activity across Canada will fall 2.4 percent in 2012 while prices decline by 1.9 percent on average.

In Saskatoon, TD expects sales to slide 2.3 percent while prices slip 2.1 percent. Meanwhile, new housing starts are expected to grow by 2.6 percent.

Get ready for housing market correction: TD – Financial Post
Special Report: Regional Housing Markets – TD Economics

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Merrill Lynch estimates that Canadian housing is 10 percent overvalued at the present time. They expect that weaker economic growth and an oversupply of condos will lead to a five percent drop in home prices through the first half of 2012 and further expect prices to end the year flat as economic activity accelerates.

Merrill: Classic bubble signs in Canadian market – Globe and Mail
Home prices set to drop in 2012 – Star Phoenix

Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)

Nationally, CMHC predicts housing starts will decline 2.2 percent while MLS sales rise roughly 1.9 percent and resale prices grow by 1.2 percent on average.

In Saskatchewan, CMHC expects that housing starts will increase a whopping 8.3 percent. Resale transactions will also grow but more moderately at six percent, while average resale prices gain two percent.

In Saskatoon, CMHC sees housing starts declining by 11 percent. Still, they’re predicting increases of roughly 1.4 percent in the cost of a new home. After reaching their highest level since 2007, resale activity will fall roughly 1.3 percent to 3,800 units while resale prices grow by 2.1 percent.

CMHC Housing Market Outlook, Canadian Edition, Q4 -2011
CMHC Housing Market Outlook, Saskatoon CMA, Fall 2011

RBC

“The oversupply of homes on the market continues to weigh on new construction especially given that sales activity is running at a below-average clip. This is even with rock-bottom mortgage rates and financial institutions putting an end to the tightening in lending standards for mortgages. The government continues to make efforts to encourage homeowners to refinance at today’s lower rates though the take-up rate on these initiatives has been limited. The bottom line is that until the supply of homes available for sale is reduced, construction activity will make a very limited contribution to economic growth. In turn, this will limit the improvement in prices restricting growth in household real estate assets.”

Economic and Financial Market Outlook: RBC Economics

The Economist

“In some countires, such as Australia, Canada and Sweden, prices wobbled and then surged to new highs. As a result, many property markets are still looking uncomfortably overvalued.”

House of horrors, part 2 – The Economist

Remax

Nationally, Remax expects resale activity to increase marginally by one percent while prices grow by two percent.

In Saskatoon, the real estate company sees resale activity growing by approximately ten percent to roughly 4,500 units while prices rise about three percent (my estimates based on the charts included in the report).

Remax Housing Market Outlook, 2012

I have no doubt there are other bits of commentary and prediction that I’ve overlooked, so feel free to put them forward if you have them in the comments section below. More importantly, tell us where you think our real estate markets are headed next year.

Thanks for reading.

Happy new year!

I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions. All of my contact info is here. Please feel free to call of email me.

Get the most current market intelligence with our FREE Market Snapshot including prices of homes recently sold in your area. Get it here, now.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate


Saskatoon real estate week in review: December 19-23, 2011

The Saskatoon real estate market continued to move at a faster pace than is typical for the final week leading up to Christmas. For the second consecutive week, local agents reported 63 house and condo sales to the multiple listing service® to top sales from the same week last year by 26. New listings also continued to move onto the system with a total of 41 additions in the same two categories, fewer than last week by 11 properties and up on a year-over-year basis by 13 homes.


The total inventory of active MLS® listings in the residential category continued on a downward trend and fell below 1,000 units for the first time since totals moved above that number in early February. As of this morning, there are 953 residential listings showing an active status on the system for a weekly decline of 55 units, but up when compared against the close of the same week last year by 31 properties. There are currently 540 single-family homes (detached houses) and 354 condominiums for sale in Saskatoon. At the close of the same week last year, those housing categories stood at 506 and 363, respectively.


Cancelled and withdrawn listings slipped lower to just 18 homes with eight of those immediately returning for another go at the market, most bearing a new price. Price changes were nearly non-existent at just three. Over the course of the week, 19 listings expired having reached the end of their term without finding a willing buyer.

The average selling price of a Saskatoon home inched up, ever so slightly, gaining just a few hundred dollars on last week to finish at $319,111. The weekly median sale price grew by $19,000 to close at $324,000. The six-week average dropped about fifteen hundred dollars to $314,274 to claim an annual gain of just over three thousand dollars, while the four-week median pushed higher by roughly two thousand dollars on the week, closing at $304,000.  That brings an annual gain of $15,000, the largest in several weeks.


Overbidding was once again out of fashion. Just one lucky Saskatoon home seller finished a deal for more than the asking price. That overbid sale came in $1,100 above the asking price. Another seven sellers found a buyer willing to pay them their full asking price while 55 of 63 completed deals required some back and forth at the negotiating table for an average discount of $10,467.


Highlights from the news this week

A shifting market stings Chinese home owners – Bloomberg
Canadian home prices to fall 5 percent: BofA report – Yahoo Finance
Quint raises concern on housing report – Star Phoenix
Look for a 5-10 percent drop in home prices in first half of 2012 – Financial Post
Micro condos, major ruckus – CBC News
Canada’s housing boom among longest in Western world – Globe and Mail
Saskatoon drawing newcomers away from bigger cities – Yahoo News
Saskatchewan population reaches new high – Star Phoenix
BMO’s five fearless forecasts for the next year – Globe and Mail
Get ready for a housing market correction: TD – Financial Post
Housing correction big risk for Canada – Financial Post
Saskatchewan continues to grow, but where will everyone live? – CTV News

I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions. All of my contact info is here. Please feel free to call of email me.

Get the most current market intelligence with our FREE Market Snapshot including prices of homes recently sold in your area. Get it here, now.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate

Remai Art Gallery of Saskatchewan wins prestigious design award

The design for the Remai Art Gallery of Saskatchewan has been selected as one of eight 2011 Award of Excellence recipients by Canadian Architect magazine and is featured on the cover of this month’s issue.

According to the story in the Star Phoenix, the $84 million gallery was selected from “163 submissions judged by a jury of Canada’s top architects.”

The gallery will be constructed at River Landing in Saskatoon’s Central Business District beginning in 2012 with an anticipated completion in late 2014.

Read: Remai gallery receives national award.

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

Sense of community alive and well in Saskatoon's Hudson Bay Park

Here’s a link to an article that’s part of a series that appears in Bridges in which Charles Hamilton gets a feel for a Saskatoon neighbourhood from a resident of the area. This one is about the Hudson Bay Park area of Saskatoon.

Angie Lato, a ten year resident of Hudson Bay Park says, “When I look out my front door there’s a Lutheran Church, a seniors’ care home and the Catholic Elementary School and I was raising a family. I thought ‘you can’t get much better than this.’ The area has nice little crescents and a real sense of community. I felt that right from the beginning. It was an easy choice. We’re a really small area though – a little triangle on the map.”

Read the entire article here.

See our neighbourhood page of Hudson Bay Park.

I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions. All of my contact info is here. Please feel free to call of email me.

Get the most current market intelligence with our FREE Market Snapshot including prices of homes recently sold in your area. Get it here, now.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate