Saskatoon real estate week in review: January 19-25, 2014

Sales over the past few weeks have been fairly normal for January. It is, after all, most typically the second slowest month of year. At this point of the month, we’re just slightly ahead of sales for the same month last year but we definitely need to see trades pick up in the coming week to finish where we did last year, with 221 sales. Saskatoon real estate agents brought in a few additional completed deals this week as volume grew to 49 from 41 last week, but that left us short of numbers recorded during the same week last year when 54 Saskatoon homes traded. This week’s year-over-year decline ended what otherwise would have been the fourth consecutive week of annual gains.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

Saskatoon homes sold and listed MLS® from January 19-25, 2014Active listings grew again as they most often do at this time of the year. Local agents brought 119 new residential listings to the Saskatoon multiple listing service®, up from 112 last week to fall short of the number of MLS® listing posted this week in 2012 by ten. That left the total number of residential listings available to buyers at 1147 for a weekly gain of 16 homes, up 154 from levels seen a year ago. Today’s MLS® inventory includes 699 single-family homes and 352 condominiums, up from 590 and 316 respectively at this time last year.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

Active MLS® listings in Saskatoon at January 25, 2014

Far more activity at the lower end of Saskatoon’s real estate market brought the median sale price of a local home about $25,000 lower to $320,000. The average sale price headed lower as well, but not quite as much. It slipped just sixteen thousand to $355,528. The six-week median price saw its fourth consecutive weekly increase as it inched forward nearly two thousand dollars from the previous week to close at $347,552 claiming a fourteen thousand dollar increase from a year ago. The four-week median held pretty steady losing just five hundred dollars from last week’s numbers to finish the week at $324,500 for an annual increase of roughly sixty-five hundred dollars.

Average and median sale prices of Saskatoon homes sold January 19-25, 2014

Once again, buyers held a strong hand at the negotiating table demanding a discount averaging $10,925 in 40 of 49 instances. Two lucky sellers made off with an above list offer averaging a $4,400 bonus while seven buyers agreed to pay full price.

Other notable MLS® activity this week included 40 cancelled and withdrawn listings, 14 expired listings and 30 price adjustments.

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Saskatoon real estate statistics for homes sold MLS® January 19-25, 2014

Highlights from the news this week

Builders blame low supply for drop in home sales – Globe and Mail
Here we go again with dropping mortgage rates – Financial Post
Why Canada’s cult of home ownership is in trouble – Globe and Mail

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

Saskatoon real estate week in review: January 12-18, 2014

Sales activity remained rather subdued this week as Saskatoon real estate agents reported just 41 firm deals on houses and condominiums to the local MLS® system, a drop of three units compared to the previous week and an increase of five sales when compared against volume for the same week last year. While the number of trades are low compared to most months January is typically a slow slug. I expect that by the time the dust settles at month end we should be looking at numbers that are fairly typical for the month. Given the sales momentum of recent months and the very slow start that we had last year, we could quite likely see some good gains over the month, even though those gains are more likely to be a reflection of last January’s weakness than anything else.

Last week’s strong new listing numbers appear to include some of the activity that should have happened this week. The total number of new Saskatoon house and condo listings slipped lower on both a weekly and an annual basis. Local REALTORS® processed 112 MLS® listings, down from 166 last week, 16 fewer than were listed during the same week a year ago.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

The total number of active MLS® listings available to Saskatoon home buyers continued on its upward trajectory after hitting its lowest point in more than nine months at the start of the year. This week, inventory numbers closed at 1131 for a weekly gain of 40 homes. On an annual basis, we are ahead by about 150 homes. As you can see on our chart, inventory levels are higher than they have been in January in any of the previous five years. Where do you see it going by spring? Today, we have a total of 680 single-family homes and 351 condominiums showing an active status on the Saskatoon multiple listing service®.  A year ago, those two categories of housing stood at 591 and 299 respectively.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, there’s not a lot you can immediately draw from the weekly price numbers, especially when sales are as low as they are right now. They really deliver the greatest insight into the market over a longer period of time. That said, we’ll remain true to our mission and tell you what they looked like this week. The median sale price of a Saskatoon home took a jump of about twenty thousand dollars from last week to reach $345,000. That basically tells us that there was more activity in the upper end this week than there was last week. The average sale price spiked to $381,364 for a weekly increase of more than thirty thousand dollars. This jump can largely be attributed to one sale at $1.25 million dollars that skewed the numbers higher. That skewing is far less pronounced when we look at the six-week average price which gained five thousand on the week to reach $345,733 to show its first annual increase in five weeks, up about 10K compared to the same week last year. The four-week median price rose less gaining a little under two grand from last week to hit $325,000 and match the annual gain of the six-week average price.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

The negotiating table was clearly favouring buyers as just one seller made off with an offer above asking price with a $2500 overbid. Just one more was able to produce an offer at their full asking price. The other 39 buyers that closed a deal this week did so at a price that was less than the seller was asking by an average of $9,941. I honestly can’t recall the last time we saw a week where such a high percentage of the closed transactions were under the asking price. I’m pretty sure that it would be a good year anyway.

Other notable MLS® activity this week included 26 cancelled and withdrawn listings, 17 expired listings and 29 price adjustments.

Click the image for a larger version of the chart.

Highlights from the news this week

Average Canadian house price up ten percent to $389,119 – CBC News
Canada’s house prices still rising but sales stall for third straight month – Financial Post
Housing market edges towards soft landing – Globe and Mail

On the news: I find it remarkable how bearish the media wants to be on housing, even in the face of some pretty impressive strength. Nationally, sales are up 12.9% in December and the Financial Post would like to make a big deal of the fact that unit sales have declined for three straight months. “There is cause for concern in the market,” they say. “Seasonally adjusted December sales were down 1.8% from November and are now off 5.2% from the peak that was reached in September. Historically, price declines have followed sales declines.” Let me tell you something else that happens “historically.” Real estate sales decline for three consecutive months in the last quarter of the year. This is not “cause for concern.” It’s normal. In some markets that  decline typically happens over many more months. Take Saskatoon for example. Our real estate market typically peaks in May or June to begin a slow but steady decline in monthly unit sales until they bottom out on December, and then begin to climb towards their peak again in January. Over the past five years, after June, there have only been two times at which unit sales have actually increased over the previous month. Most years, even our very best, close with six to seven months of declining sales. To be clear, this is not an argument for an ever advancing real estate market, or an argument against a correction, but rather, an observation that the news will often twist a story whichever way they want it to go. As we move into 2014 it’s beginning to look like those wishing for a housing crash have been disappointed yet again. Some aren’t quite ready to throw in the towel. Better luck next year.

This chart shows the typical monthly decline in unit sales that occurs after June every year in Saskatoon.

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

Canadian home prices rise even as sales decline in December, 2013: CREA

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), released national sales statistics for the month of December, 2013 recently. According to the CREA, “The actual (not seasonally adjusted) national average price for homes sold in December 2013 was $389,119, an increase of 10.4 per cent from the same month last year. The size of year-over-year average price gains continues to reflect the decline in sales activity last year among some of Canada’s most active and expensive markets, which dropped the national average at that time. Removing Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto from national average price calculations cuts the year-over-year increase to 4.6 per cent.”

Highlights of CREA’s report    

  • National home sales fell 1.8% from November to December.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity stood 12.9% above weak December 2012 levels.
  • The number of newly listed homes dropped 4.3% from November to December.
  • The Canadian housing market remains in balanced territory.
  • The national average sale price rose 10.4% on a year-over-year basis in December.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) rose 4.3% year-over-year in December.

Read the entire report on Canadian MLS® sales for December, 2013.

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

Saskatoon city council agrees to lift height restrictions on downtown buildings

Today on our Facebook page, we discuss last night’s decision by Saskatoon city council to lift height restrictions on downtown buildings. Let us know how you feel about a changing Saskatoon skyline.

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

Saskatoon real estate week in review: January 5-11, 2014

There are two things that you can pretty much count on in this business. Firstly, home sales will peak in the spring and then begin a slow steady decline until they bottom out in December. Secondly, that homes sales will begin a slow but steady increase starting in January until they peak in the spring. This year will be no different and for this second week of the new year the Saskatoon real estate market began its push forward as local agents reported 44 homes firmly sold, up from 32 last week to finish just two ahead of sales for the same week last year.

It usually doesn’t take too long for sellers eager to get the jump on the spring market to get out of the gate either. This year they may have been stumbling over each other had it been an actual race as a whopping 166 Saskatoon home sellers broke away from the starting line. That’s a weekly increase of 96 listings and a year-over-year increase of 70 homes.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

Naturally, a soft sales week and a hefty listing week has an impact on the total inventory of active residential MLS® listings. After slipping by nearly 100 units as the month of December closed, they took an upward bounce this week adding 59 homes to close the week at 1091 for an annual increase pushing the 200 unit mark. Today’s totals show 665 houses, up from about 566 a year ago and 337 condos, an increase of roughly 55 units from inventory levels recorded at the close of this week last year.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

A growing number of sales brought price increases in all but one category. The average sale price of a Saskatoon home surged forward more than thirty thousand dollars to $350,007 while the median sale price for the week edged up just thirty-five hundred dollars to $313,500. The six-week average moved higher following seven consecutive weeks of declines. It gained a bit more than four thousand dollars over the week to finish at $340,972 and closed the week lower than it was a year ago by about 24K. The four-week median price was the only one measure that slipped lower as it lost about fifteen hundred dollars and slipped to $323,450 to find itself lower than it was the previous year by almost thirty five thousand dollars.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

Buyers saw some of the largest discounts we’ve seen in awhile this past week as 34 of 44 sales closed below the seller’s asking price by an average of $13,152. The remaining deals wrapped up at full list price. Not a single seller saw an above list price offer this week.

Other notable MLS® activity this week included 51 cancelled and withdrawn listings, 26 expired listings and 26 price adjustments.

Click the image for a larger version of the chart.

Highlights from the news this week

Modest growth in local house prices – Star Phoenix
Housing market on solid footing – Globe and Mail
Housing prices going up in 2014 – CTV News
December 2013 housing starts remain stable for sixth consecutive month – CMHC
In 2024, all homes will be dream homesglobeadvisor.com
Key takeaways for Canada’s housing market in 2014 – Global News
Sellers to benefit in strong spring housing market – BNN

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