Saskatoon real estate week in review: March 23-29, 2014

Saskatoon residential real estate sales surged higher for the second consecutive week reaching 100 sales of houses and condos for the first time this year, about a full month faster than last year. That amounts to a weekly increase of 11 sales and an annual gain of 29 homes.

Meanwhile, new listings of houses and condos moved in the same direction as local agents brought 165 houses and condominiums to the multiple listing service®, up ten from last week and ahead of activity recorded during the same week last year by a huge margin, 67 homes.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

In spite of a big sales week, the massive number of new listings pushed inventory levels above the 1,300 mark to a new annual high. At the close of business yesterday buyers could find 1,323 residential properties showing an active status on the multiple listing service®, up 26 from a week earlier and ahead of levels recorded during the same week last year by 266 homes. The MLS® inventory is clearly at its highest point for this time of year in a long time and the spring time additions seem to be coming a bit quicker than usual. The annual gains are widening a bit each week. It will be interesting to see where it goes. A search of today’s active inventory shows 802 single-family homes and 422 condos. Last year at this time those two categories of Saskatoon housing stood at 655 and 319 respectively.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

Entry level buyers made a strong showing this week and pushed the median price of a Saskatoon home lower by seventeen thousand dollars to $337,000. The average price for the week was down a bit less as it slipped about 12K to $348,816. The six-week average price of a Saskatoon home inched lower by a bit more than two thousand dollars to settle at $355,588 and claimed an annual gain of twenty-four thousand dollars. Meanwhile, the four-week median price inched up to $348,450 to finish ahead of where it was at this time last year by thirty thousand bucks.

Overbid sales grew to five and the average overbid was up sharply to $6,780. Sales at the seller’s list price slipped lower to just 11. The remaining 83 Saskatoon home sales were recorded at a price below the seller’s list price with an average discount of $9,564.

Other notable MLS® activity this week included 45 cancelled and withdrawn listings, just four expired listings and 60 price adjustments.

Click the image for a larger version of the chart.

Highlights from the news this week

Home buying has other related costs – Star Phoenix
Think tank says housing market won’t crash – Star Phoenix
Garden and garage suites getting closer – Star Phoenix
What bubble? Canadian’s have their mortgages covered – Financial Post
Mortgage brokers go the extra mile – Leader Post
Real estate bidding wars: It’s every man for himself – Financial Post
Superstitions can mean profits and loss in real estate – canada.com
Here’s why paying off your mortgage isn’t always the best choice – Financial Post
New mortgage rate war looms as BMO cuts 5-year below 3% – Financial Post
Finance minister Oliver won’t meddle in mortgage market, for now – 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: March 16-22, 2014

Saskatoon home sales pushed higher this week recording weekly gains of 23 units as local agents reported 89 firm house and condominium sales to the local MLS®. That was enough to finish ahead of the same week last year (by ten sales) for the first time in four weeks.

At the same time, new listings of houses and condos slipped lower shedding seven from the numbers recorded over the previous week as Saskatoon real estate agents added 155 properties to the multiple listing service®. While down on a weekly basis, those numbers are well ahead of the number of listings for the same period a year earlier when just 123 Saskatoon homes were offered up for sale.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

It will come as a surprise to nobody, I’m sure, that the total number of listings in the residential category of the Saskatoon MLS® system moved higher again. This is normal for this time of year. It’s one of those things that you could bet on and win pretty much every time. While the increase was modest, just 24 homes compared to the close of the previous week, we shouldn’t overlook the fact that the totals leave us with the largest year-over-year gains we’ve seen in recent months with inventory sitting just shy of 1300 listings, up over levels recorded a year ago by 254 homes. Saskatoon homes sales are up four percent year-to-date while listings are up about 25 percent. This is far more likely to favour buyers who are buying new homes or condos than it is for those buying a resale single-family home. See last week’s review for a more detailed explanation. Taking a closer look at the key housing categories, we see availability of condos increasing to 422 from just 302 a year ago while single-family home listings grew from 658 last year to 771 today.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

The inventory situation seems to have done little to benefit buyers when it comes to prices. Again, about 90 percent of this week’s sales activity would fall into the resale category, which frankly, is fairly hot right now with limited selection in most areas of the city. With that in mind, here’s what happened. First, the median price paid for a Saskatoon home increased to $353,000 as more upper end buyers made the move to wrap up a home purchase this week. Naturally, the average price for the week moved up at the same time but fell well short of record levels for the year at $360,807. Meanwhile, the six-week average sale price, which had been fairly stable for the past four weeks, moved ahead to $357,798 to grow by more than five thousand dollars compared to last week. It’s ahead of where it was a year ago by roughly 26K. The four-week median price also saw strong gains with a nine thousand dollar increase over last week and annual growth approaching twenty-nine thousand dollars. These are some of the largest year-over-year gains that we’ve seen in a year, a sharp contrast to December and January when these measures where actually showing annual declines. I’m feeling fairly certain  that resale buyers who have been waiting for the best buyer’s market conditions will be seeing them in the rear view mirror, at least for the next few months.

Another sign that the market may be heating up can be seen in over/under/at list numbers. Overbids had nearly fallen off the chart lately. This week there were four, up from one the week before. Not huge, but up. Those four buyers offered an average bonus of $3,200 to their respective seller. Meanwhile, 68 buyers managed to close up a purchase with an average discount of $10,265. The other 17 sales were recorded at the seller’s full asking price.

Other notable MLS® activity this week included 38 cancelled and withdrawn listings, 11 expired listings and 41 price adjustments.

Click the image for a larger version of the chart.

Highlights from the news this week

River Landing project, not in 2014 – Star Phoenix
Average home price hits $350,000 – Star Phoenix
Realtors say Canada’s housing market can still grow – Financial Post
Home prices to cool with warm weather – Globe and Mail
Home buyers squeezed out of the market must save more or settle for less – Globe and Mail
Young buyers open the door to home ownership – GlobeAdvisor
Flaherty’s exit as Finance Minister leaves unfinished business – Globe and Mail
All data point to a soft landing for Canada’s housing market – 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

Following five months of declines Canadian home sales see small upturn: CREA

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), released national sales statistics for the month of February, 2014 recently. According to the CREA, “The number of home sales processed through the MLS® Systems of Canadian real estate Boards and Associations was little changed from January to February 2014, edging up just three tenths of one per cent. The February result follows five straight monthly declines and leaves activity 9.3 per cent below the peak reached in August 2013.”

Highlights of CREA’s report    

  • National home sales edged up 0.3% from January to February.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity stood 1.9% above February 2013 levels.
  • The number of newly listed homes edged up 0.6% from January to February.
  • The national average sale price rose 10.1% on a year-over-year basis in February.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) rose 5.1% year-over-year in February.

Read the entire report on Canadian MLS® sales for February, 2014.

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: March 9-15, 2014

In spite of widespread reports of ‘busyness’ from most local brokerage offices, Saskatoon real estate sales trailed lower this week as REALTORS® reported just 66 houses and condominiums as being firmly sold to the local MLS® system. That’s a weekly decline of just four units but it falls short of sales generated during the same week last year by 20 homes.

The number of new listings that were added to the Saskatoon multiple listing service® declined on a weekly basis but showed big gains when compared against activity recorded for the same period last year. New listings finished the week at 162, down 18 from the previous week to finish ahead of last year by 35 properties.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

The disparity between firm sales and new listings was enough to push the total inventory of MLS® listings in the residential category sharply higher. At the close of business Friday, total active residential listings had grown almost 50 units from where it stood a week earlier. This morning, we have 1275 active residential listings. That puts us ahead of last year’s levels by 236 units for an annual increase pushing 25 percent. A search of the multiple listing service® today yields 734 active single-family home listings, up from 656 a year ago, for a 12 percent year-over-year increase. Additionally, there are 418 active condo listings for an annual increase of more than 40 percent. Last year at this time there were 297 Saskatoon condos showing active on the MLS®. The balance of the residential inventory is made of semi-detached homes, duplexes, vacant lots and mobile homes.

These numbers fail to tell the real story of supply and demand. Over one-third of the active real estate inventory can be found in four of our city’s roughly 55 neighbourhoods (Rosewood, Evergreen, Hampton Village, Stonebridge). Narrow your search to single-family homes and you’ll find 344 of the 734 active listings in those same four areas leaving fewer than 400 houses in all remaining neighbourhoods. If you’re not shopping in one of those four areas, and you’re after a single-family home, chances are good that you’re actually having some challenges finding something good in your areas of choice. Our team is still receiving decent offers on the resale property that we’re listing within a reasonable period of time. Over the past few weeks, listings viewed on our website are up nearly 50 percent from levels of last year. If this is an indication of real demand resale inventory in the single-family category may be scarce through the spring months.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

After a few weeks of exceptionally strong activity, buyers at the upper end of Saskatoon’s real estate market appear to have taken the week off. Accordingly, the median price of a Saskatoon homes dropped almost 30K from last week to $332,000. The average sale price of a Saskatoon home slipped lower by about half as much to $340,708. The six-week average price remained stable for the fourth consecutive week at just one thousand dollars lower than last week’s number. It closed the week at $352,403 for an annual increase of twenty thousand dollars. The four-week median price saw some needed relief after it climbed nearly twenty-five thousand dollars with four consecutive weekly gains. This week it gave back nearly 10K on those gains to finish the week at $338,450 sharply higher than the $307,000 recorded at the close of the same week in 2013.

Buyers showed little interest in over-paying this week. The one seller that did manage to secure an above list offer made off pretty well with a $12,100 overbid. Another 50 buyers walked away from the negotiating table having picked up a home at an average discount of $8,737. The remaining 15 buyers paid full pop to close their deal.

Other notable MLS® activity this week included 34 cancelled and withdrawn listings, 13 expired listings and 34 price adjustments.

Click the image for a larger version of the chart.

Highlights from the news this week

Meddling with mortgage rules could create ‘unpredictable’ housing market – CTV News
Why the doomsayers are wrong about Canada’s housing market – Globe and Mail
Prime retail space hard to find – Star Phoenix
How bubbly is Canada’s housing market? Why doomsayers may be wrong – Financial Post
Canada’s new house price see largest rise in 20 months in January – Globe and Mail
Fixed rate mortgages may be a better choice than variable: BMO – Financial Post
Canadian wealth rises and household debt falls from record levels – 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

Saskatoon real estate week in review: March 2-8, 2014

Sales and new listings in the Saskatoon real estate market continued to follow last year’s activity quite closely this week. Local agents reported a total of 70 house and condominium sales to the multiple listing service® to match last week’s numbers, finishing just one sale lower than the number recorded for the same week last year.

The number of new listings was through the roof at 180 units, up 45 from the previous week, but like sales, just one unit behind listing activity for the same week a year ago. 180 is the largest number of new listings for any week since mid October.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

After slipping lower for two consecutive weeks, the surge in new listings coming on the market pushed the total number of residential properties listed for sale on the Saskatoon MLS® higher by 32 compared to last week’s close. We are once again above 1200. Today’s Saskatoon real estate buyer has 1215 homes to choose from, up from 1047 a year ago. A search of the local multiple listing service® today yields 715 single-family homes showing an active status, up from 648 a year ago. In the condominium category, 404 homes are available to buyers, a 30 percent increase from last year’s numbers. According to CREA’s MLS® House Price Index, apartment style condos have lost some value (four percent) in recent months. This very high level of inventory could potentially lead to more softening in that category. It certainly gives buyers some added clout at the negotiating table.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

Upper end home buyers continued to be the most active group who were out looking and buying. As a result, the median price of a Saskatoon home sold this past week increased again to $361,250. Absent any deals in the $800,000 plus range, the average sale price managed to inch lower by a bit more than $1700 to $357,427. Looking to the longer term measures, the six-week average remained fairly stable growing by less than a thousand dollars to $353,566 claiming an annual increase approaching 20K. Meanwhile, the four-week median price of a Saskatoon home continued to grow taking it’s third consecutive weekly increase. By week’s end it had increased by nearly eight thousand dollars to close the week at $348,000 for an annual increase of more than ten percent.

After being completely shut out on overbid activity for the past couple of weeks, three lucky sellers managed to close a deal above their asking price with an average overbid of $3,900. Another 20 sellers closed a deal fat their full list price. The remaining 47 sales closed below the asking price netting the buyer an average discount of $8,672.

Other notable MLS® activity this week included 57 cancelled and withdrawn listings, 25 expired listings and 31 price adjustments.

Click the image for a larger version of the chart.

Highlights from the news this week

Record home building in Canada drive spike in new permits – Financial Post
Think Gen Y will prop up Canada’s housing market? Think again – Globe and Mail
Pimco sees Canadian housing market falling as much as 20% – Financial Post
The problem with Pimco’s home wrecking – GlobeAdvisor
Mortgage costs set to rise as CMHC leads premium hike – Globe and Mail
How lower rates are making variable rate mortgages more tempting – Financial Post
CMHC hikes mortgage insurance premiums prompts competitors to follow – Financial Post
Banks show restraint on mortgage rates one year after Flaherty warning – 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