Saskatoon real estate week in review: November 22-28, 2015

Up and down. That seems to be the consistent theme from one week to the next as we head towards the finish line for 2015. Following a pretty solid week of sales, Saskatoon real estate agents reported just 61 residential sales to the multiple listing service®, a drop of 14 compared against last week, and down 22 sales from the same week a year ago. New listings also fell lower as just 126 Saskatoon homes were added to the MLS® for a weekly drop of 17 and an annual increase of 22 homes.

With just one more business day remaining in November, month-to-date home sales stand at 261 properties. November’s total in 2014 was 292. It’s been a rare day lately when 30 sales have been reported, but 15-20 is pretty realistic for a Monday so it’s looking like November will prove decent, at least in comparison to most other months this year which are averaging about a 14 percent year-over-year decline. So far, July was the only month this year during which sales exceeded those reported during the same month the previous year.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

The total number of homes listed for sale on the Saskatoon MLS® system continued to trail lower at about the same pace we’ve been experiencing over the past eight weeks, that pace feeling a bit slow. Based on the fact that 580 residential listings are set to expire in the next 30 days, I suspect that we’ll end up with somewhere between 1400 and 1500 active listings as the year closes, but that’s just a SWAG method guess.

Today we see 1858 active residential listings on the Saskatoon multiple listing service®, down just 27 from last week, and up from 1497 at this time last year. Single-family homes are sitting at 1038 units, for a weekly decline of 22 homes and an annual increase of 197 homes for a 22 percent gain. Condo inventory fell just nine units this week to 628 to record a year-over-year increase of 153 units. That’s amounts to hefty a 32 percent annual increase.

With more than a third of this week’s sales coming in below the 300K mark, the median price of a Saskatoon home took a good slide to $327,000. Even with a $950,000 residential sale in the mix, the average price also lost some ground as it slipped to $343,714. These declines helped usher both of our longer-term measures lower. Coming off of five weeks of consecutive increases the six-week average price slipped about twenty three hundred dollars to finish the week at $352,883 for an annual drop approaching eighteen thousand dollars. The four-week average, which has also been trending higher over the past two months took a smaller dip dropping fifteen hundred dollars from last week to close at $348,500. That number is down from where it sat a year ago by just fifteen hundred dollars.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

Overbid sales were nearly scarce with just one buyer offering to pay more than the seller’s asking price, and only by $100. This week’s numbers show nine full price sales, with a bit more than half of these being brand new single-family homes. The remaining 51 sales were reported to have sold below list price netting the buyer an average discount of $12,785. There’s nothing too crazy to report in the way of extraordinary discounts. The largest percentage decline was 25 points on a vacant lot prices at 40K. We see some $20,000 discounts in the $300,000-$400,000 and a couple of 25-30K discounts in price ranges above that. Typically, the homes that will be trading in a market like this are those which are attractively priced compared to competing listings. Most of those seen a lot closer to list.

Other notable real estate activity this past week included 76 cancelled and withdrawn listings (67 and nine respectively), 40 expired listings and 49 price changes.

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 Vidorra

How virtual reality will soon change the way you see the world forever

 

When my stepfather Clarence Fisher passed away in 1998 I recall marveling at all he had seen over his 80 years, from a time when he may have been more likely to travel by horse than by car, to the early development of the web. He saw the advancement of the automobile, the airplane, television, space craft, and digital imagery to name just a few; all technologies that would allow man to satisfy his curiosity about things and places that he might not otherwise see or experience.

Last week the world changed in a way that my dad couldn’t have ever imagined. A door was opened that will very soon allow you and I to experience virtually anything, and any place.

For most of us, virtual reality is a strange idea, something for the future, a future that we’ve been hearing about for a long, long time. Last week the future samsung_gear_vrarrived as Samsung, in cooperation with Oculus released Gear VR, the first virtual reality headset intended for the consumer market. There have been several developer prototypes released over the past few years, but now, for less than $150 users of select Samsung phones can strap on some gear that will transport their minds to another place.

The possibilities are endless, really. Your Gear VR headset can simulate a home theatre experience that few could ever imagine, or it could take you across the world to explore the ancient city of Machu Picchu all without leaving your home. I expect that before long virtual reality will allow you and a friend who resides on the other side of the globe to share a virtual space and experience, as if you’re actually together. Imagine, my son in London, England and me in Saskatoon, getting together to watch a Sunday Rider game in a virtual reality space that emulates my living room, or his dorm room, or our favourite pub for that matter.

Should virtual reality replace the actual real life experience of visiting Machu Picchu, or enjoying a Rider game (I know! It’s been difficult to enjoy a Rider game lately) in the presence of a friend or family member? Of course not, but it can really expand the numbers of people who have the opportunity to enjoy these experiences when they might not otherwise be practical. Soon, anyone with access to a smart phone will be able to enjoy experiences that they had only dreamed of.

Virtual reality can go a long way to simplify life in other ways. You could take a virtual walk through at your favourite clothing boutique and look at the fall fashion line-up from home. You could look around that new downtown dinner spot before you make your booking. You could shop for a new house.

House hunters will tour homes from the comfort of their own living room before heading out to see the one or two that they like best. The physical process of looking at prospective homes will be reduced from days to hours. Home sellers, I’m sure, will be equally appreciative of fewer disruptions at home.

The real estate business got its first serious look towards a virtual future when Matterport released a “3D-Scanner” in July of 2014. The renderings that it produces are mind blowing allowing buyers to explore interior spaces like never before. Of course, I bought one of these scanners and we shared that innovation with the Saskatoon market in the news story below.

I experienced a virtual reality tour made from a Matterport rendering through an Oculus Rift developer head set that a friend shared with me months ago. It was a bit crude, but remarkably effective. The Gear VR moves the experience from crude to spectacular and it won’t be long before our listings are also available to explore in a virtual reality environment, so stay tuned.

While I reflect with wonder on the breadth of my dad’s life experiences, and where we’ve come since then, I can’t help but think that we haven’t seen anything yet.

If only technology could find a way to reconnect me with my dad.

Norm

Saskatoon real estate week in review: November 15-21, 2015

On the heels of one of the Saskatoon real estate market’s quietest weeks this year home sales rebounded from 52 last week to 75 this week. That was enough to finish up when compared against the same week last year. During that period 72 Saskatoon homes were reported sold. As we enter the final week of November sales appear to be shaping up for a better month than October proved to be. As of today’s date, we are behind last November by just a small handful of sales, eight to be exact. We’d need another week like this one to come in near even with November of 2014 but even if next week sees the softness that was present last week we shouldn’t be down by more than ten points by the time the dust settles. October sales fell short by 24 percent.

The number of new listings added to the multiple listing service also surged higher on a weekly basis. A total of 143 listings were added to the inventory, up from 118 last week, but just slightly below additions over the same week a year ago when 147 Saskatoon homes were brought to the MLS®. That’s the second consecutive week that listings were down on an annual basis, even though just slightly. That’s only notable because it’s the first time it has happened this year.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

The inventory of active residential MLS® listings continued to trend lower, slowly but surely, slipping 32 units over the course of the week to fall below 1900 for the first time since April. We closed the week with 1885 active listings for an annual increase of 334 homes, the smallest year-over-year increase in several months. As of this morning, the database of properties for sale includes 1060 single-family homes, 25 fewer than could be found on the system last week, but up from 907 a year ago. Condo numbers sit at 637 today, down from 658 last week, up from 495 at this time last year. If listings follow the typical historical trend, and they should with over 600 properties scheduled to expire, they’ll drop like a rock over the next thirty days, but that means little at this time of year. January and February will set the tone for what will be experienced next year. Once the numbers (both listings and sales) bottom out by the close of the year they’ll start their climb by week two of the new year.

The median price of a Saskatoon home managed to head higher this week by nine thousand dollars to hit $359,000. More upper end activity also pushed the average sale price ahead to $357,210. The six-week average price saw more modest growth as it inched higher by just a few hundred dollars to close the week at $355,175 to lose nearly 12K when compared against the six-week average recorded at the close of the same week last year. The four-week median price grew by close to five thousand dollars from the previous week and finished up at $349,950. That’s just 50 bucks shy of where it was one year ago.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

Eight home buyers showed some extraordinary motivation to grab the house they wanted to own, with six coming in with a full price offer and two going over the seller’s asking price by an average of $5100. Meanwhile, 67 of the week’s 75 sales cl;used below asking price with an average discount of $11,814 being recorded. A quick look through the list and sale prices shows the product under $300,000 dishing up some of the larger discounts, the biggest being a Nutana area condo which was likely well overpriced at $289,900 being sold for $250,000. There’s a wake-up call for someone.

Other notable real estate activity this past week included 80 cancelled and withdrawn listings (72 and eight respectively), 50 expired listings and 78 price changes.

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 Vidorra

Home sales on the rise nationally in October, 2015: CREA

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), released national sales statistics for the month of October, 2015 recently. According to the CREA, “The number of homes trading hands via MLS® Systems of Canadian real estate Boards and Associations rose by 1.8 percent in October 2015 compared to September. As a result, national activity stood near the peak recorded earlier this year and reached the second-highest monthly level in almost six years.”

Highlights of CREA’s report    

  • National home sales rose by 1.8% from September to October.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was little changed (+0.1%) compared to October 2014.
  • The number of newly listed homes was up 0.9% from September to October.
  • The Canadian housing market remains balanced overall.
  • The national average sale price rose 8.3% on a year-over-year basis in October; excluding Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto, it increased by 2.5%

Read the entire report on Canadian MLS® sales for October, 2015.

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 Vidorra

Saskatoon real estate week in review: November 8-14, 2015

Saskatoon real estate sales fell flat this week as the total number of residential sales reported to the multiple listing service® slipped to just 52, the lowest number recoded for any single week since January. That left us down from the previous week by 22 sales to fall short of numbers achieved over the same period a year ago when 81 Saskatoon homes traded.

New listings numbers also plummeted. Saskatoon real estate agents wrote just 118 residential MLS® listings, down from 212 for the previous week, and even falling short of the number of homes listed during the same week last year. 118 listings is the lowest number for any week this year, except for the first week on January when just 52 properties were added to the MLS® database.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

Even as new listings fell substantially the database of active MLS® listings remained stubbornly high, actually growing by one this week to 1917 for a year-over-year increase of 401 homes. Taking a closer look at the major categories we find 1085 single family homes offered for sale, up from 897 at this time last year, and 658 Saskatoon condos showing an active status, up from 489 a year ago. For those who prefer percentage comparisons, that leaves us up 21 percent annually in the singe-family category, with higher inventory in the condo market by 35 percent year-over-year. With 768 active listing scheduled to expire between now and the end of the year I expect the active listings chart to look similar to the last couple of years as we close 2015, showing significant declines through December, but finishing the year with higher inventory that the previous year.

Lacking the hefty handful of upper end sales that contributed to last week’s strong average and median price, we see both of these numbers slip this week to $350,286 and $343,400 respectively. Still, the six-week average price managed to grow by about three thousand dollars from last week to finish at $354,781 for an annual drop of ten thousand dollars. The four-week median price edged lower to $345,000 to close down about thirty five hundred dollars from last week, and seven thousand dollars lower than it was a year ago.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

Overbid sales were nonexistent this week, but two lucky sellers did mange to find a buyer willing to pay their full asking price. Every other seller gave up some dough to close a deal with the average discount reaching a hefty $13,760.

Other notable real estate activity this past week included 59 cancelled and withdrawn listings (50 and nine respectively), 23 expired listings and 91 price changes.

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 Vidorra