Saskatoon real estate week in review: June 24-30, 2012

The first week of summer may have been a disappointment as far as the weather was concerned but the Saskatoon real estate market was hot. Local agents reported 104 firm sales of houses and condominiums to the Saskatoon multiple listing service® this week. That’s down just two from the previous week but well ahead of the 86 sales reported during the same week last year.

New listings also surged higher for the first time in three weeks as 158 Saskatoon homes were added to the MLS®, up 15 from last week, a significant increase from the number of new listings added during the same period of time in 2011.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

Total active listings remained pretty stable on a week-over-week basis dropping just one from last week to finish at 1229, down about 160 units from the same time a year ago. Today’s totals include 750 single-family homes and 404 condominiums. Condos continue to show the largest year-over decline falling from 489 a year ago. Single-family homes slipped lower by 70 units. While inventory levels are at their lowest point for the end of June in the previous five years, the trend appears to be similar to what it has been over the past two years. If it continues, we can likely expect to see total active MLS® listings remain fairly steady through August when levels will start to trail off for the winter.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

The average sale price of a Saskatoon home slipped about six thousand dollars this week to $342,319 while the median sale price for the week grew by roughly seventy-five hundred dollars to $325,500. The six-week average price inched lower dropping about a thousand dollars this week to settle at $339,523.  That number is higher than it was at this time last year by 28K, or about nine percent. The four-week median price moved in the opposite direction losing three thousand dollars from the close of the previous week to close at $315,500 and claim an annual gain of about twelve thousand dollars, or four percent.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

Overbid activity was pretty soft this week, as it has been through most of the year. Five lucky sellers completed a sale above their asking price by an average amount of $2,725. Another 13 sellers managed to get out with their full asking price while 86 savvy buyers managed to grind a bit of a discount in their negotiations, each saving an average of $8,100.

In other MLS® activity this week, there were 46 cancelled and withdrawn listings, 15 that came to the end of their term and expired without a sale and 47 sellers who adjusted their price in hopes of attracting a buyer before the seasonal cool down begins.

Click the image for a larger version of the chart.

Highlights from the news this past week

Mortgage rules tightened – Star Phoenix
Targeting high-end mortgages more politics than protection – Globe and Mail
Flaherty’s million-dollar mortgage change hits just 0.1% of buyers – Globe and Mail
Giddy about U.S. housing? Slap yourself – Globe and Mail
Tighter mortgage rules mean rent increases: Poll – CanadianRealEstateMagazine.com
Thinking of renting that basement suite? Tips for first-time landlords – Globe and Mail
Saskatoon house prices continue steady hike – Star Phoenix
New mortgage rules may dampen economic growth: Flaherty – Financial Post

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.

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

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

Customer appreciation day at the Kinsmen Park rides on June 29, 2012

In celebration of the end of the school year and the beginning of the summer break, the Kinsmen Park rides will be hosting their “School’s Out – Customer Appreciation Evening” on Friday, June 29, 2012. They’ll be offering FREE rides between 3:30 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. that day, so round up the kids and come on out for some family fun!

For those of you who have never been there, Kinsmen Park has a terrific merry-go-round carousel and an awesome miniature train. The park itself is a beautiful space to spread a blanket and enjoy a picnic so come early and make an evening of it.

Kinsmen Park is here, in beautiful City Park.

Learn more about City Park and other great local areas at our Saskatoon Neighbourhoods page.

Saskatoon real estate week in review: June 17-23, 2012

The final week of spring came and went keeping Saskatoon real estate agents busy closing a total of 106 house and condo deals. That’s up nearly 20 units from the previous week, and 32 more transactions than we saw during the same week last year.

New listings remained precisely stable on a week-over-week basis with 143 properties being offered for sale, up 32 home listings from the same period a year ago.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

The inventory of active MLS® listings took a very small downturn edging lower from the 1237 unit close the week before to 1230, roughly 200 units lower than it was at the same point in 2011. Today, there are 745 single-family homes and 411 condominiums showing an active status on the Saskatoon multiple listing service. Both categories are down from last year when buyers had 824 houses and 523 condominiums to choose from. I expect that inventory has probably peaked for the year, more or less, though it’s possible that we’ll see a bit of a rush of late comer sellers looking to take advantage of what could be a brisk two weeks leading up to new mortgage rule changes which will further limit home buyer’s ability to finance by July 9.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

The average sale price of a Saskatoon home pushed higher again coming close to recovering all that it had lost over the past couple of weeks, thanks to a strong performance of sales above $400K. It increased nearly ten thousand dollars from the previous week to $348,313. The median price for this week’s sales remained almost unchanged at $318,000. Meanwhile, the six-week average price of a Saskatoon home inched higher gaining about $2500 this week to settle at $340,608 for an annual increase of a little more than twenty-six thousand dollars. The four-week median price slipped lower by two thousand dollars to $318,000 for year-over-year growth of eighteen thousand dollars.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

There was a bit of overbid activity this week with six lucky sellers closing a deal for more than their asking price, but all of the overbids were fairly constrained, the largest coming in at $700 and the lowest coming in at $1 for an average of just $184. Another 17 buyers stepped up and offered the full asking price to close their deal, while 83 of this week’s 106 sales closed at a price that was less than the list price by an average of $10,510.

Other notable activity on the Saskatoon MLS® this week included 52 cancelled and withdrawn listings, 14 expired listings and 62 price changes.

Click the image for a larger version of the chart.

Highlights from the news this past week

Canadian housing boom to grind to a halt – Financial Post 19
Record low interest rates to remain into 2014: CIBC – Toronto Star 20
Flaherty reduces mortgage terms from 30 years to 25 years – CTV News 21
For many, new mortgage rules put home ownership out of reach – Globe and Mail 21
Ottawa tightens mortgage rules to avert household debt crisis – Financial Post 21
How Flaherty’s new mortgage rules will sink house prices – Globe and Mail 21
Ottawa tightens mortgage rules: What the analysts say – Financial Post 21
Tightened lending will cool market, but by how much? – Globe and Mail 22
Real estate is already cooling. So why the new chill? – Financial Post 22

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.

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

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

Ottawa delivers sucker-punch to Canadian housing markets

In a move that seems to have taken many by surprise, in spite of repeated warnings that Canada’s housing markets are overheated and debt obligations of Canadians are too high, finance minister Jim Flaherty announced a fourth round of mortgage rule changes, likely more significant that the three rounds that came before these.

Effective July 9, thirty-year amortizations are off the table as the maximum period to retire your home loan is reduced to 25 years. According to the Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals, 40% of real estate transactions that required a mortgage since 2011 were amortized over 30 years. The net effect for those buying in this way is similar to a near full percentage point interest rate increase and is likely to knock a few entry-level home buyers out of the market.

Other changes include an elimination of mortgage insurance options for buyers paying in excess of $1-million dollars for a home, a lowering of the maximum amount that a home owner can refinance to 80% of the home’s value, and the firming up of some maximum total debt service ratios for home buyers.

Full details on the rule changes and how they’ll be rolled out can be found in this document prepared by Genworth.

In a news release put out yesterday from the minister’s office, Flaherty said, “The adjustments we are making today will help [households] realize their goals, build on the previous measures we have introduced to keep the housing market strong, and help to ensure households do not become overextended.”

Is Canadian housing down for the count? I’m not sure, but I think the next few weeks are bound to be brisk.

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

Canadian home sales activity moderates in May 2012: CREA

CREA economist Gregory Klump reports on MLS® sales and listings for the Canadian real estate market for May, 2012.

Highlights from CREA’s release

  • Home sales down 3.1% from April to May.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) up 9% from levels in May 2011.
  • The year-over-year increase continues to reflect the slowdown in sales a year ago following changes to mortgage rules that came into effect in March 2011.
  • The number of newly listed homes edged up 0.3% from April to May.
  • Easing sales activity and a small uptick in new listings resulted in a more balanced national housing market.
  • The national average home price edged down 0.3% on a year-over-year basis in May.

Read the complete release 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