Saskatoon real estate week in review: March 13-19, 2016

Home sales slipped marginally on a weekly and an annual basis but were strong enough to give home sellers hope that a spring market is just around the corner. Saskatoon real estate agents reported 69 firm residential deals to the local MLS®. That’s a drop of three unit sales from last week, and also down three from the same period a year ago.

New listings grew a bit as 177 Saskatoon homes hit the multiple listing service® for a week-over-week increase of eight homes to fall well short of numbers generated during the same period last year when 204 new listings were added to the system.

Available MLS® inventory continued to grow, in spite of the decline in new listings, even during a week that saw 39 listings expire. Today we have 1866 Saskatoon homes showing as “active” on the multiple listing service®, up from 1832 a week ago for an annual increase of 158 homes, which is, by the way, the smallest year-over-year increase to the inventory in well over a year. Today, buyers have a selection of 971 single-family home available to them, up from 955 last week, for annual change of just 49 units. Condo inventory sits at 718, up 10 from a week ago, for an annual increase of 137 properties.

A very solid sales week for homes priced above $500K, including two sales in the $800,000’s and one at nearly $1.2 million pushed the weekly median price to its annual high of $361,500. The weekly average made a similar growth claim as it reached $387,519. These gains were enough to break a losing streak to the six-week average price which has persisted for four consecutive week. It moved higher to $344,197 but still finished below numbers recorded over the same period last year with an annual loss of about sixty-five hundred dollars. The four-week median price continued to grow for the second week in a row and reached $332,000 for a weekly increase of seven thousand dollars. That’s about where it was at this time last year.

The biggest changes occurred in negotiations where sellers recorded their best week this year as six lucky sellers bagged a deal above their asking price with a handsome bonus averaging $8,234. The largest overbid occurred on a River Heights four-level split which, as I mentioned last week was up for offers at a specified time. In that particular case, by the time the offers were in the deal closed $30K above the $320,000 asking price, which was arguably low for a 1400 square foot home in that area of the city. Another nine sellers found a buyer willing to pay them their full asking price while the 55 remaining deals closed below the list price netting the buyers an average discount of $12,858.

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

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Canadian home sales reach highest level since 2007 in February, 2016: CREA

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), released national sales statistics for the month of February, 2016 this week. According to the CREA, “The number of homes trading hands via Canadian MLS® Systems rose by 0.8 percent in February 2016 compared to January. The monthly increase lifted national sales activity to the highest level since June 2007.”

Highlights of CREA’s report    

  • National home sales rose by 0.8% from January to February.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was up 18.7% compared to February 2015.
  • The number of newly listed homes edged up by 0.5% from January to February.
  • The Canadian housing market has tightened but remains balanced overall.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) rose 8.5% year-over-year in February.
  • The national average sale price rose 16.4% on a year-over-year basis in February; excluding British Columbia and Ontario, it declined by 1.4%.

Read the entire report on Canadian MLS® sales for Febuary, 2016.

See also: CREA’s forecast for 2016
See also: Saskatoon home prices soften

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

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Saskatoon real estate week in review: March 6-12, 2016

The Saskatoon real estate market saw residential sales rebound this week as local agents reported 72 firm home sales to the Saskatoon multiple listing service®, up from 50 last week, to record an annual increase for the first time in 8 weeks. Looking back to the same period last year, there were 70 reported sales.

The number of new listings added to the MLS® fell lower at the same time. Saskatoon real estate agents brought 163 listing to the system, well below the 243 listed last week. That number also fell short of last year’s numbers when 195 new listings hit the system.

The inventory of available MLS® listings continued to gain ground as it grew to 1832, up just 21 from last week’s close for an annual increase of 180 Saskatoon homes. There are currently 955 single-family dwellings showing an “active” status on the MLS, up from 887 at this time last year. Available condos sit at 708 for a year-over-year increase of 137 units.

With far fewer sales below the $200,000 mark, both the weekly average sale price and the weekly median made large gains as the former grew to $338,829 and the latter picked up even more to close the week at $334,950. The six-week average price continued to slide lower for the fourth consecutive week as it slid just a couple of thousand dollars from last week to settle at $333,162 for an annual loss of $19,000. This is about where it was at the close of the same week in 2013, which seems to validate the current MLS® Home Price Index numbers that suggest home prices are about level with where they were 36 months ago. Meanwhile, the four-week median price managed to make some gains as it grew by five thousand dollars from last week’s close to reach $325,000 which is down just five thousand dollars from where it was a year ago.

As you can see, I’ve created a couple of new charts for the week in review that will allow us to take a deeper look at the four-week median and the six-week average over a longer period of time.

Nine lucky sellers managed to wrap up a deal at their asking price this week. None did better than list, despite industry chatter of multiple offers on good houses priced in the sweet spot ($300,000-$400,000). One optimistic seller brought back the old “delayed presentation of offers” game this week and hopes to open a number of competing offers on March 15 at 4:00 pm. It’ll be interesting to see how that ends up. On the other side of the negotiating table, 63 buyers ground themselves a deal netting an average discount of $11,873.

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

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Saskatoon real estate week in review: February 28 – March 5, 2016

The number of homes reported sold by Saskatoon real estate agents slipped lower this week to 50, down four from the previous week to fall well short of numbers recorded for the same week last year when 68 residential sales were sent to the multiple listing service®.

New listings shot substantially higher as many of the 84 listings that expired as February closed where ushered back into the system. The local MLS® processed 243 residential listings through the week, up from 181 last week for an annual gain of 56 homes when compared against the same week from 2015.

Even as 84 listings expired without a sale at month end, the total number of Saskatoon homes for sale on the multiple listing service® took a solid step higher growing from 1750 last week to reach 1811 by this morning for an annual increase of 236 homes. By category, today’s single-family homes inventory shows annual increases of roughly ten percent as it reaches 937 properties, up from 854 at this time last year. Condo inventory moved higher by 26 units this week to reach 702, up from 541 last year, for an annual increase of 30 percent.

With just three sales above $500K contributing to the mix, and a solid handful of sub-$200K sales, the weekly median price and the weekly average both fell lower to $307,500 and $321,810 respectively. While we have seen a lower weekly median price this year, the weekly average is the lowest recorded in well over a year. Both longer term measures took a bath as well. The six-week average price slipped more than five thousand dollars over the week to reach $335,283. That’s the lowest we’ve seen since March of 2013, and about eighteen thousand dollars lower than it was a year ago. Meanwhile, the four-week median price fell to $320,000. That’s down five thousand dollars from last week, ten thousand dollars lower than it was last year at this time last year, and at its lowest point since early 2015.

47 of this weeks 50 sales were reported to have sold below the asking price by an average discount of $9,339. The remaining three homes went for full list price. There were no overbid sales this week.

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

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Curious about home values in your area? Receive a free report that includes sale prices of recently sold homes, average days on the market and average discounts.

Saskatoon market "ideal for those wanting to buy": SRAR

The Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® released MLS® statistics for the month of February 2016 this week. This is the media release that accompanied the stats sheet.

The Saskatoon region saw a decrease in sales of one percent in February 2016 compared to February of 2015. This represents a drop of only two units from the 306 sales in February of last year. Year-to-date the total number of unit sales was down 4.3 percent from 560 units in 2015 to 536 units in 2016.

The average sale price of $341,459 was down six percent when compared to the same period last year. This was anticipated based on the CREA Home Price Index where the composite value has steadily trended downward from $313,000 last July to $301,600. This represents a 3.8 percent decline in the index since July and a 2.96 percent decline over the past twelve months. A significant factor in the average price declining, was a decrease in the number homes selling over $500,000. In 2015, 65 units had sold in this range by the end of February compared to 49 units for the same two month period in 2016.

The housing market in Saskatoon is ideal for those wishing to buy for several reasons. Healthy inventory levels which are up 13 percent over 2015, provide more choices, especially in the new home market.

Interest rates are also low and likely to remain that way for the foreseeable future. Saskatoon has weathered the economic slowdown well with a projected GDP in 2016 of 2.2 percent which is the envy of many cities in Canada.

Lastly, in spite of an average sale price of just over $340,000, Saskatoon is still considered to be one of the most affordable places to buy a home in Canada. “It is really a perfect time for those who are in the market to purchase a home,” comments Jason Yochim, CEO with the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS®. The primary reason for purchasing a principle residence should be that it meets the needs of the buyer. The thought of making a tax free profit, although important, should be secondary. “Waiting to buy at the bottom of the market can be a risky strategy,” he cautions. “Buy the home because it is what you want, where you want it and it fits your budget. When the time comes to sell it may have fluctuated in value several times on paper.”

The homes that are moving are selling for 97 percent of the asking price and average time to sell of 53 days. This is a typical exposure period for this time of year. “Sellers that are realistic about the current market and who price their home accordingly will see similar results,” adds Yochim. “Let’s face it, we all would like to make a handsome tax free gain on the sale of our home but depending on when one purchased the home, what improvements have or have not been made and where the home is located will have a direct impact on profitability at the time of sale.”

Sound pricing and timing advice can be provided by one of the 640 professionally licensed and trained REALTOR® members of The Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS®. REALTORS® also subscribe to a strict code of ethics and are dedicated to developing professional standards and continuing education in the real estate profession.

Jason Yochim CAE, CRAE
Chief Executive Officer – Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS®

End of release.

Changes to the MLS® Home Price Index in Saskatoon over time

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

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Curious about home values in your area? Receive a free report that includes sale prices of recently sold homes, average days on the market and average discounts.