Saskatoon real estate week in review: April 20-26, 2014

Following a short week that caused Saskatoon home sales to fall shy of meeting the previous year’s numbers, those deals that may have been missing from that week flowed into this one to bring sales to their highest weekly total so far this year. Saskatoon real estate agents reported 111 firm house and condo sales to the multiple listing service®, up from 91 last week to beat production for the same week last year by 18 home sales. In the past two years weekly totals have only topped that number twice.

At the same time, new listings of houses and condos moved to their lowest point in five weeks as just 162 homes were added to the MLS®, 27 fewer than last week but still ahead of numbers recorded for the same period of 2013 by seven homes.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

Strong sales and a slower week for new listings brought the inventory of active MLS® listings in the residential category lower for the first time in eight weeks. Inventory dropped lower by 15 homes this week falling back below 1400 to 1391. That still leaves it at its highest point for this time of year in five years time. It’s 228 more Saskatoon homes than could be found on the MLS® system at this time last year. A year ago there were 697 single-family homes showing an active status. Today, buyers can find a selection of 847 houses on the MLS®. Over the same period of time condo inventory has grown from 375 to 434 available units.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

More deals at the entry level and fewer at the upper end brought the median sale price of a Saskatoon home sharply lower to $324,000. A lack of sales over the 600’s and a good handful of deals below $150K helped usher the average sale price for the week down to just $329,343. Both of our longer term price measures saw declines as well. The six-week average price slipped lower for the third consecutive week as it lost more than three thousand dollars from the previous week to reach $350,639 and claimed one of its smallest annual gains in weeks, just seven thousand dollars. The four-week median price of a Saskatoon home dropped twice as much from last week to $341,000 but maintained annual gains of eight thousand dollars.

Overbid sales saw some gains again as seven Saskatoon home sellers completed a deal above their asking price by an average of $4,872. On the flip side, 91 buyers ground a deal that netted an average discount of $8,972. The other 13 transactions closed at asking price.

Other notable MLS® activity this week included 67 cancelled and withdrawn listings, 6 expired listings and 58 price adjustments.

Click the image for a larger version of the chart.

Highlights from the news this week

Housing market ‘extremely discouraging’ for first time buyers – CBC
Timeline: A look through the years of Canadian housing bubble fears – Buzzbuzzhome
How did Canada’s middle class get so rich? – The Atlantic
Give yourself a real estate reality check – GlobeAdvisor
Canadian home buyers putting down larger down payments: Lenders – Globe and Mail
CMHC tightens insurance rules again – Canadian Press via the Star Phoenix
Cash back mortgages: A deal from your bank that regulators aren’t keen on – National 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: April 13-19, 2014

On the heels of a four week winning streak during which Saskatoon real estate sales handily topped last year’s numbers, sales slipped lower this week, largely due to a four day work week. This past week Saskatoon REALTORS® reported 91 house and condo sales to the local MLS® for a weekly decline of nine units to fall below sales recorded for the same week a year ago by 11 homes.

New listings of houses and condos moved in the opposite direction growing by 16 when compared against numbers recorded over the previous week. Local agents added 189 properties to the Saskatoon MLS® system this week eclipsing units listed over the same period a year ago when just 160 Saskatoon homes were added to the system.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

The inventory of active residential real estate listings on the Saskatoon multiple listing service® headed higher once again growing by 37 units to 1406. As you know, if you’ve been following our weekly reviews, that’s as high as it has been at this time of the year since 2009 when listings hit 1472 during this particular week. That year, listings continued to grow until mid-May when they peeked and began their descent. This year’s numbers are well up from where they were one year ago when they were at just 1150. Today’s totals show 860 single-family homes showing as active on the system, up from 685 last year. Condo inventory is at 437 today, up from 370 a year ago.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

A little more activity at the upper end of the Saskatoon real estate market brought the median sale price of a local home back up to $347,500 after it fell below $330K last week. The average sale price for the week moved in the same direction, though much more modestly as it fell just short of $350,000. Meanwhile, both of our longer term measures slipped lower this week. The six-week average price slid just over a thousand dollars to $353,720 to finish ahead of the same week last year by about eight thousand dollars. The four-week median price dropped fourteen hundred from last week to settle at $347,500 for an annual increase of a bit more than 15K.

Overbid sales were recorded on five of this week’s transactions. Each seller averaged an additional $2,620 on top of what they were asking. At the other end of the negotiating table, 70 buyers managed to get a discount off of the seller’s asking price that averaged $10,405. The remaining 16 deals closed at the list price.

Other notable MLS® activity this week included 61 cancelled and withdrawn listings, 11 expired listings and 42 price adjustments.

Click the image for a larger version of the chart.

Highlights from the news this week

Remax forecasts six percent rise in Saskatoon – Star Phoenix
Three key questions about Canada’s new mortgage rules – Globe and Mail
New mortgage guidelines push CMHC to embrace insurance basics – Financial Post
Be careful before you break that mortgage – Financial Post
Housing market off to a sluggish start as spring selling season begins – Globe and Mail
Real estate sector applauds new mortgage rules – Globe and Mail
Canadian home sales up 5% from a year ago but below 10-year average – TeamFisher.com

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

Home ownership gets slightly more expensive May 1, 2014 (for some)


riel_200As you may have already heard, home buyers without a 20% down payment, will soon be paying more to buy a house. As of May 1st, 2014 the standard CMHC mortgage insurance premiums will be increased by an average of 15%. This is the first rate hike to premiums since 1998.

With an average home price hovering around $300,000 in SK, the current insurance premium with 5% down is 2.75% or $7,837.50. Once the changes take effect this will become 3.15% or $8,977.50. A difference of $1140, or roughly $5 per month on a standard 25 year mortgage payment.

The two other private insurers (Genworth and Canada Guaranty) have also followed suit and will be charging the same premiums as of May 1st. A full list of all changes can be found here: http://www.cmhc.ca/en/hoficlincl/moloin/moloin_013.cfm

So what can we as home buyers do to combat this fee? I have two tips to help you ease the pain of these recent changes:

Make sure your financing has been submitted for approval prior to May 1st. As long as you make an offer and your bank/lender submits the file prior to May 1st, you can move in months later and the new premiums will not apply. I know this is a little unrealistic being that we are only days away from these recent changes but it is the most immediate solution.

Offset the expense with a better mortgage rate (you knew this was coming). Again, based on $300,000, a .10% difference in your mortgage rate, you will save roughly $1400 over the course of a standard 5 year term.

All in all, if you qualify to buy a home today, the changes should not impact your ability to purchase the same home after May 1st. Debt ratios will remain almost identical with the $5 per month increase to a mortgage payment so although these are higher costs, don’t expect them to change anything in the housing market.

Please free to send me an email, text, or call anytime. I am always happy to help home buyers with any questions they may have, strategize over future plans or save you money on your mortgage!

Riel Syrenne
TMG The Mortgage Group
306-260-9918
riel@mortgagegrp.com

Canadian home sales up nearly five percent from a year ago but still below ten year average: CREA

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), released national sales statistics for the month of March, 2014 today. According to the CREA, “Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity stood 4.9 per cent above levels posted in March 2013. Sales were up from last March in 60 per cent of local markets with Greater Vancouver, Calgary, and Greater Toronto providing the largest contributions to the national increase.

While up from last year, actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity in March ran 8.2 per cent below its 10-year average for the month of March. Results were similar for actual activity for the first quarter: up 2.8 per cent compared to the first quarter of 2013, but 7.5 per cent below the 10-year average for the first quarter period.”

Highlights of CREA’s report    

  • National home sales rose 1.0% from February to March.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity stood 4.9% above March 2013 levels.
  • The number of newly listed homes edged up 0.5% from February to March.
  • The Canadian housing market remains in balanced territory.
  • The national average sale price rose 6.0% on a year-over-year basis in March.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) rose 5.2% year-over-year in March.

Read the entire report on Canadian MLS® sales for March, 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: April 6-12, 2014

For the fourth consecutive week the Saskatoon residential real estate market continued to record sales well above what would be expected at this early stage of the spring season. Local agents completed 100 firm sales of house and condominiums this week, about even with last week’s numbers and up on sales for the same week last year by 22. At the same time, new house and condo listings brought into the multiple listing service® continued to outpace previous years even as they cooled slightly from levels seen a week earlier. By week’s end, real estate agents had added 173 Saskatoon homes to the MLS® system, 44 fewer than hit the market the week before but higher than numbers for the same period last year by ten.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

Even with some stellar sales weeks on the board, the inventory of MLS® listings in the residential category grew by 33 this week to reach 1369 for an annual increase of 245 Saskatoon homes. So far this year, elevated levels of listing inventory don’t seem to be very problematic, unless you’re a seller fishing for a dupe that will pay too much. Homes priced at or around their realistic market value are turning reasonably quickly. At the close of business this week buyers could find 824 single-family homes for sale, up from roughly 680 at the same point in the previous year. Meanwhile, the number of condominiums for sale in Saskatoon climbed to 435 from about 350 a year earlier.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

Real estate sales activity was strong across all price categories but there was elevated activity at the lower end of the market which caused the median price of a Saskatoon home (point at which half of all homes sold above) to slip lower to $328,750. Still the mix of sales on either said of the median came in with lower numbers overall and the average sale price of a local home slipped down from last week’s extreme high to hit $341,524. That’s it’s lowest point in four weeks. The six-week average price fell lower as well losing more than three thousand dollars from last week’s number to settle at $354,933 for one of its smallest annual gains in many weeks, about eight thousand dollars. Meanwhile, the four-week median price held stable at $349,900 for the second consecutive week, enough for an annual gain of about 19K.

Overbid sales saw a bit more play this week as they crept higher from two last week to four this week. The average overbid on those homes was $3,100. On the flip said, 81 of this week’s closed deals were recorded at a price below the seller’s asking price by an average of $9,227. The other 15 deals hit the books with a full price sale.

Other notable MLS® activity this week included 51 cancelled and withdrawn listings, 17 expired listings and 48 price adjustments.

Click the image for a larger version of the chart.

Highlights from the news this week

Conservative growth in Saskatoon housing prices – Star Phoenix
Spring sparks real estate rebound – CTV News
Real estate or stocks? Which will make you richer? – Globe and Mail
Real estate markets turning the corner – Financial Post
Mortgage in retirement means big sacrifices – 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