Saskatoon real estate: Week in review (February 26-March 2 2007)

Saskatoon residential unit sales increased to 93 homes this past week according to sales statistics from the Saskatoon real estate board.


The average selling price of a Saskatoon home was down close to $13,000 as a result of an unusually high level of activity in Area 4 where prices are generally lower than the other residential areas.


The percentage of homes which sold above the asking price increased to 43%, up from approximately 30% the previous week and 19% the week before that.


The average “overbid” also saw an increase to $6,950 from $6,037 the previous week, and $4,735 the week before that.

Saskatoon real estate week in review

February MLS® sales statistics were released Friday and if anyone has any doubt as to the state of the Saskatoon real estate market, this should clear things up. The dollar volume from residential sales increased a whopping 82% as compared to February, 2006. Residential unit sales were up 45% over last year to a total of 321 homes. The average selling price of a Saskatoon home increased 26% to $188,585.


See a Google map displaying the boundaries of Saskatoon real estate “areas” here
Data collection and calculation for our statistical reports

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.

Follow our daily updates on Twitter @SaskatoonHomes.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate

…and suddenly, like someone turned off the tap, it was over: Jay Thompson

Phoenix real estate guy Jay Thompson and his partner FrancyIt was another exciting week in the Saskatoon real estate market, and breakfast today ranks as one of the highlights. It wasn’t the eggs, the bacon or those crispy little tater thingies, though they were all very good; it was the company. I had the opportunity to sit down with Jay Thompson, the one and only “Phoenix Real Estate Guy.”


Jay is well known as one of the most tech-savvy real estate agents in the world. His website is ranked number 1 out of close to 105,000 websites on the Point2 Performance Index. If you’re curious about the odds of that happening, it’s about 1 in 105,000. 🙂 It’s an accomplishment to be proud of, and curious as I am, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to pester him for a meeting once I heard he was coming to town. He graciously obliged me and in spite of the fact that he’d just been through one of the longest travel days of his life, including a three hour stop over in stormy Minnesota, only to arrive in stormy Saskatoon, Jay dragged his butt out of bed and met me for a 7:15 breakfast.


Most of what we discussed would be lost on my local readers, I’m sure. Internet marketing, search engine optimization, blogging, blah, blah, blah. It was largely shop talk which could only be appreciated by a couple of tech-geeks with a burning desire to dominate the Internet.

There was one thing that Jay said which was particularly relevant to the Saskatoon real estate market. I thought you should hear it.


After filling Jay in on the state of the Saskatoon market he said, “Wow! This sounds just like Phoenix a couple of years ago. Properties were selling within hours of hitting the market. Most listings attracted multiple offers and almost everything sold over the asking price, some by tens of thousands of dollars. Investors were pouring in from all over the country buying up real estate in hopes of making a big profit…and then suddenly, like someone turned off the tap, it was over.” (This is not exactly what Jay said. A note pad seemed over the top so I’m paraphrasing.) He went on to share how it “suddenly” seemed like everyone had a property to sell, nobody was buying and values started to decline. While things seem to be leveling out in Phoenix, a fair amount of equity was lost in 2006 and many of the out of state speculators have put their properties back on the market hoping to get out. Today, there are 37,000 active MLS® listings in Phoenix. That would be like Saskatoon having 2,000 properties for sale, instead of 200. It would certainly change the climate.


I remain convinced that Saskatoon is much closer to the beginning, than it is to the end of this rising market. Most of us realize that this won’t last forever but I must admit I hadn’t even considered that it could end “suddenly, like someone turned off the tap.” I’m only certain of two things; this fast paced market will eventually end and it will produce some casualties. It’s rare that an out of control real estate market makes a soft landing.


Proceed with caution.


Jay, thanks so much for meeting me this morning. It truly was one of the high points of my week. I appreciate the time and the ideas which you shared with me. Next time, let’s do it in Phoenix. 🙂

What is up with those Saskatoon condo prices?

Saskatoon condo prices rise

What is up with the Saskatoon condo market? One and two bedroom apartment style condos have been flying off of the market at an unbelievable rate. The price change is almost mind boggling for a market that has become accustomed to annual price increases limited to the 4%-7% range.


I met with a young guy on January 9. He’s finishing his final year at the University of Saskatchewan and will soon be ready to sell his condo which is located on the east-side. It’s a 2 bedroom unit of approximately 700 square feet. Back in January, we were discussing a list price of around $85,900 but at the time he was at least two months away from listing the home. He emailed me yesterday wondering what has been happening in the condo market and he asked if there has been any change in the value of his home. I responded by telling him I felt pretty confident that we could market it at $110,000 today. He promptly emailed me back for a head check. “Let’s make sure we’re on the same page here Norm. I’m the guy…$85,900.”


Well, here’s a little recent history on what’s been happening in the condo market.


On January 9, I helped a young woman purchase a two bedroom condo at Shorebird Watch for $91,500. The following day, the price on those units went up to $96,500. A number of price increases were implemented over the next few weeks. By February 6 the price for these homes had reached $107,900. The last of those condos have been sold. On the morning of February 4, I listed a small condo on Kingsmere Boulevard for $102,900, which at the time was competitive with the Shorebird Watch prices. After doing a little pre-promotion we went to the market on the morning of the 6th, showed the unit 23 times (that day) and by the end of a long day, my seller and I were reviewing a stack of offers. The winning bid was $113,000. Last week, my good friend Sean Wilson (as good a friend as one can be given the fact that we’ve never actually met in person) from Remax listed a 755 square foot condo on Wollaston Crescent for $114,900 and while there are still some conditions on the agreement which prevent the price from being published, I’m confident that it likely sold for the asking price, if not above. Wow!


Take a look at the Pine Creek town homes (no longer available). At the beginning of the year, you could purchase one of the base entry level units for $144,400. Those same homes are selling today at $199,400, a thirty eight percent increase in just two months time.


These particular homes all provide a pretty good overview of what’s going on in the Saskatoon real estate market. When you have what are essentially the same units selling repeatedly at progressively higher prices you can’t help but feel like you’re in Calgary or Edmonton.

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.

Follow our daily updates on Twitter @SaskatoonHomes.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate

Saskatoon real estate: Week in review (February 19-23 2007)

Here’s a brief statistical overview of residential sales as reported to the Saskatoon Real Estate Board MLS® system for the past week.


Notable changes over the previous week:


The percentage of listings which sold at the list price or above the list price increased from 48% to 56%.


The average selling price of a home exceeded the average listing price in four of five areas*.


The average overbid where listings sold over their list price increased 27% from $4,735 to $6,037.

Saskatoon real estate stats

Largest overbids

  • 864 square foot Lakeview condo sells 10% over list at $113,000.
  • 1,000 square foot Dundonald house sells 10% over list at $198,000.
  • 975 square foot City Park house sells 10% over list at $170,000.

See a Google map displaying the boundaries of Saskatoon real estate “areas” here
Data collection and calculation for our statistical reports

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.

Follow our daily updates on Twitter @SaskatoonHomes.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate

Saskatoon real estate bidding wars: How much is too much?

Saskatoon Real Estate bidding wars

If you’ve been shopping in the Saskatoon real estate market for longer than a couple of months I don’t have to tell you that the rules have changed this year, and they’ve changed dramatically.


At the close of 2006, resale inventory had dropped to an all time low of around 250 active listings and while we’ve started to see more homes being listed for sale they are getting snapped at a pace which hasn’t allowed inventory levels to rebound at all. Today, the Saskatoon MLS® system shows 244 active house and condo listings across all price ranges and in all Saskatoon neighbourhoods. 60-70% of those properties probably have offers pending and the majority of what remains are the laggards which most prospective buyers have passed on for one reason or another.


New MLS® listings are attracting attention and viewings quite quickly and in many cases they’re generating multiple offers resulting in a bidding war. Last week, almost 25% of the homes which were reported sold on the Saskatoon MLS® showed sale prices which were above the asking price. The amount of overbids ranged from a low of $10 over list to a high of close to $30,000 above list price. The average overbid in most areas was less than $5,000.


Nobody wants to pay too much for a home. One might look to the aforementioned sale which went close to $30,000 above list and ask, “Are those buyers’ nuts?” I’m going to suggest that they just might be a little sharper than you think. See, these folks now own an interest in some Saskatoon real estate. While the other 37 buyers who viewed this home continue to struggle to find a place in the market, these buyers have locked in and any gains that the market experiences over the coming months will be theirs. If you believe that the market is going to continue to grow at its current pace, you might feel okay about paying a bit too much today in an effort to avoid paying much more tomorrow.


I’m not suggesting for a moment that a $30,000 overbid will be the prudent thing to do in most situations, but you will likely need to think beyond what the home is worth today if you truly want to be the successful buyer in a bidding war. Try to give some thought to where you think the market is going for homes in your price range. Will prices increase 10-20% over the next few months? How many opportunities will come up over the next few months? How might rising prices and limited inventory affect your ability to secure a suitable home at an affordable price if you miss out on this one? Is the property you’re considering under priced for today’s market (some are)? Ask your agent for his or her thoughts on what price the home will sell for when all of the offers are in.

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.

Follow our daily updates on Twitter @SaskatoonHomes.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate