A closer look at the Saskatoon real estate statistics for October 2008

The Saskatoon Region Association of Realtors recently reported October results for the entire residential category, which includes single-family homes (houses), condominiums, semi-detached properties, duplexes, mobile homes and vacant lots. Unit sales totaled 215 properties across all of these property types, and an average sale price of $285,310. Let’s have a look at how houses and condominiums faired.

Residential listing inventory declined modestly on a month-over-month basis reaching its lowest level since July of 2008. The stock of available Saskatoon houses dropped 63 units from 1,053 at the close of September to 990 by the time October had closed. However, all of the declines were in the single-family home category as condominium inventory still managed to creep up a bit from 519 to 530 units. Sales weakened in both categories with house sales falling to 162 units, down from 183 in September, and down 44 units from October of last year when 206 houses changed hands. Condo sales fell for the third consecutive month finishing the month at 40 units, compared to 48 in September and down from 55 last October.

Based on the average number of units sold over the last three months there is currently a 10.6-month supply of condos and a 6-month supply of single-family homes.

The price of a Saskatoon house took a hit according to all four of the price trend measures that we use to track values. The average selling price of a house fell to $305,021 from $319,596 in September while the median sale price took a softer blow falling just $5,000 from the month before. The three-month average continued its downward trend for the fourth consecutive month reaching $310,959, down over 6% from its peak of $331,630 in June of this year, while both the median and the average selling prices came in nearly 10% lower than their previous highs. All three of these measures continue to show gains when compared to October of 2007 with the average selling price of a Saskatoon house sitting 12.5% higher than it was last year at this time.

The price per square foot measure shows the greatest change to date as single-family homes traded at $241 per foot, down nearly 14% from the high of $280 which we saw in May.

Saskatoon condos took the larger hit as the average selling price fell to $224,970, down from $242,040 in September and more than 13% off of its peak high of $259,467 in April of this year. For the first time, were actually seeing two of the value indicators showing a drop over the previous year with the average selling price coming in about $5,000 lower than the previous October and the median falling $10,000 short of last year’s number.

On a price per square foot basis, condos traded at $231, down from $240 last month and about 13% off of their high of $262, which was reached in May of this year.

Clearly, the gap between the price of a Saskatoon condo and a single-family home has grown wider in recent months. This strikes me as a correction that was long overdue as the two categories were just too close to each other through much of the past two years.

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Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate