An early spring for Saskatoon housing in March 2019: SRAR

After a fairly strong February, the city of Saskatoon’s March housing market had spring in its step as both new listings and sales rose over last year, by five and 11 per cent respectively.

The Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® (SRAR) reported 702 listings were posted to the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®), up from 668 last March, but significantly down from 850 in 2017.

Sales jumped 11 per cent to 258, up from 233 last year but down from 308 in March 2017.

At the same time, the average selling price dropped four per cent to $316,445, down from just over $328,000 a year earlier, partly due to a higher proportion of entry-level home sales below $400,000. There was also a significant decrease in the number of sales recorded between $400,000 and $450,000. Even so, the dollar volume of homes sold increased seven per cent to just over $81.6 million, up from $76.5 million a year earlier.

“We’re coming into the spring market, and the degradation of prices over the last three year has made it a little more attractive out there. People do get a little bit more optimistic in the spring,” said Jason Yochim, CEO of SRAR.

“Some of that optimism may have sprung from the federal government’s recent policy announcement regarding changes to home buyers’ plan, which provides a five per cent interest-free loan on existing homes, and 10 per cent on new homes, to first-time buyers. Our industry has been lobbying for changes such as this for a long time.”

The Saskatoon Region, which includes smaller communities in the Census Metropolitan Area, saw a five per cent increase in listings, to 1,084 (up from 1,034 in 2017) and a four per cent increase in monthly sales, to 359 (up from 345). Listings generally begin to trend upward as March, and spring, approach.

Excluding Saskatoon, regional listings were flat with last March and sales fell nine per cent to 77, down from 85. The selling price dropped 12 per cent to $275,000. In 2019 so far, Saskatoon and region listings, taken together, are down two per cent to 2,675, 1,736 of those in the city proper. Sales are up two per cent to 929, up from 909 in 2018, and dollar volume has fallen one per cent to $213 million, down from $215.5 million. Active listings sat at 3,184 at the end of March, down one per cent, with 1,611 of those in Saskatoon, down four per cent.

While the 2019 market has been kinder to home sellers than in the last three years, it remains important to price properties appropriately to present conditions, said Yochim. The sales to listings ratio was 37 per cent in March, which still signifies a buyers’ market.

“Home sellers, not to mention buyers, can benefit from the knowledge a REALTOR® brings to a housing transaction. REALTORS® know how to help a seller arrive at a realistic price, and they are also professionals who subscribe to a strict code of ethics. They can guide sellers, and buyers, through the process, and help them make the best decisions.”

OTHER REGIONS

The spring market has had a slower start in Prince Albert and region, where listings rose four percent to 128 (from 123 last March) and sales fell 10 per cent to 38, down from 42. Dollar volume was down 29 per cent to $6.7 million, from $9.5 million in the same month of 2018. However, the statistics tend to appear more dramatic to the smaller size of the market.

It was a similar story in The Battlefords region, where listings rose five per cent to 120 units, up from 114 a year ago, and sales fell three per cent to 32. However, that was a drop of just one unit from last year’s 33 sales. Dollar volume fell 37 per cent to $4.5 million from just over $7 million. The region did, however, see an increase in the average price of four per cent to $188,000. Dollar volume was down 22 per cent to $4.5 million.

“The market is considerably more challenged in smaller cities. Saskatoon hasn’t been affected as much on sales activity because of our diversified economy.”

Jason Yochim, CEO, SRAR

Saskatoon real estate week in review for March 23-29, 2019 (edition #629)

Saskatoon real estate sales grew for the fourth consecutive week and reached the highest numbers recorded for any seven day period so far this year. Local agents reported the sale of 79 Saskatoon homes for a weekly increase of 13 units and annual gains of 23.

New residential listings took a dip falling from 164 last week to 150 for this period. Still, that amounts to an increase of 20 listings when compared against the same week last year.

The inventory of Saskatoon homes for sale did not gain much traction this week. As of this morning, there are 1600 residential properties for sale with the city limits, up just four from last week’s close, and down from 1676 a year ago.

Among the properties being offered for sale are 639 condominiums, down from 682 a year ago, and 874 single-family detached homes, 24 fewer than could be found at this time last year.

Both the weekly median price and the weekly average bounced back this week as a greater number of upper end home buyers stepped into the market to make a deal. The former grew by more than 10 percent to $313,700 as the latter increased by close to 20K and reached $320,519.

Still, both of the longer-term measures we track slipped lower. The six-week average price fell for the fourth week in a row. It lost four thousand dollars from a week earlier to settle at $322,246, which is about twenty-two hundred dollars lower than it was at this time last year. Meanwhile, the four-week median price lost about 9K on the week to close the period at $311,850. That’s $5700 lower than it was as the same week last year wrapped up.

On the heels of a week that saw no sales reported above asking price, three lucky sellers completed a sale for more than they had been asking, one with a big bonus that topped ten thousand dollars. The other two sold at $100 above asking. On the flip side of the negotiating table, 66 buyers stood in for a discount and wrapped up their purchase at a price that was, on average, $13,259 below asking.

Here is a breakdown of what the sales to listing price ratio looked like on this week’s sales. Please note that those sales that do show a sale price that is greater than the list price are all new properties that spent some period of time on the market, and most likely included additional improvements that were not reflected in the original list price. We report these to you as “at list price sales”, which is likely too generous in some cases, but it’s simply not practical to obtain the full details of each sale.

More weekly stats and numbers for those who love them.

Thank-you for reading TeamFisher’s Saskatoon Real Estate Week in Review.

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 for March 16-22, 2019 (edition #628)

Saskatoon real estate agents reported 63 firm residential sales to the multiple listing service® over the past week, five more than the previous week, to finish ahead of the same period last year by 13.

The number of new residential listings added to the MLS® remained steady towards the mid-160’s for the third consecutive week. The total number of Saskatoon homes listed came in at 164 this period, up two from the previous week, and ahead of the number listed over the same week last year by 12. This is the third week in a row in which listings finished higher on an annual basis. Three weeks does not amount to a trend, but this hasn’t happened since the third quarter of 2017, so it might be an interesting number to watch.

MLS® inventory moved higher as it grew by 42 units to reach 1596, down 83 homes from numbers recorded at this time in 2018, and still lower than it has been at the close of this particular week in four years time.

Saskatoon home buyers can find 881 single-family homes on the MLS® system today, down just a bit from 900 a year ago. Condominium inventory has fallen further to 625, lower by 65 units (or 10-ish percent) from the close of the same week last year.

A very active entry level market and some weakness at the upper end ushered the median sale price of a Saskatoon home lower this week to $287,500. The weekly average price moved the same way as it slipped nearly 17K to $301,529.

The six-week average price inched lower for the third consecutive week. It slipped a little under four thousand dollars to close the week at $326,342. That’s up about $2600 from where it stood a year ago, and the third consecutive week in which the measure took annual gains. The four-week median price fell lower for the third week in a row after it spiked higher through February. It slipped nearly 5K this week to settle at $320,000 to record an annual increase of $10,000.


After recording some competitive buyer activity the previous week, over list price sales left the chart entirely. In fact, 61 of 63 home sellers gave up some dollars to make a deal with their buyer. Those sales recorded an average discount of $12,916.

Here is a breakdown of what the sales to listing price ratio looked like on this week’s sales. Please note that those sales that do show a sale price that is greater than the list price are all new properties that spent some period of time on the market, and most likely included additional improvements that were not reflected in the original list price. We report these to you as “at list price sales”, which is likely too generous in some cases, but it’s simply not practical to obtain the full details of each sale.

More weekly stats and numbers for those who love them.

Thank-you for reading TeamFisher’s Saskatoon Real Estate Week in Review.

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 for March 9-15, 2019 (edition #627)

Saskatoon real estate sales in the residential category grew to 58 this past week for a weekly increase of eight. The number of sales matched those reported for the same week last year.

New listing activity continued to heat up as 162 Saskatoon homes were offered for sale on the multiple listing service®. That number is identical to those recorded the previous week and higher than we saw during the same period a year earlier by nine.

The inventory of active MLS® listings grew by 48 this week to reach 1554. That’s down 97 units from a year earlier. While total active listing numbers remain at their lowest level for the close of week 10 for the past five years, current levels leave us with the smallest annual decline that we’ve seen this year. Spring is just around the corner and we will expect to see these numbers grow each week until late June or early July when inventory should reach its annual peak.

Today, there are 860 single-family homes showing an active status on the MLS®, down just 19 listings from a year earlier. There are 601 Saskatoon condominiums for sale today. That’s about a 12 percent decline from this time last year when 680 condos were available to buyers.

Sales activity remained strong at the market’s entry-level (under $200K) and the weekly median slipped lower again to $315,000. A shortage of sales above the $500,000 mark took the weekly average lower to $318,303.

The six-week average price fell about forty-five hundred dollars from last week to close this period at $330,183 for an annual increase of two thousand dollars. Meanwhile, the four-week median price slipped modestly. It was down less than five hundred dollars from the previous week to $324,575 taking an annual gain approaching fifteen thousand dollars.

For the first time in a few weeks, we saw some competitive buyer activity that drove sale prices above the seller’s asking price. Three resale properties reported a sale price that was, on average, $1983 more than the seller had asked when they listed their home for sale. Buyers largely won at the negotiating table as 46 of 58 sales reported a sale price that was $13,218 below the seller’s listed price, on average.

Here is a breakdown of what the sales to listing price ratio looked like on this week’s sales. Please note that those sales that do show a sale price that is greater than the list price are all new properties that spent some period of time on the market, and most likely included additional improvements that were not reflected in the original list price. We report these to you as “at list price sales”, which is likely too generous in some cases, but it’s simply not practical to obtain the full details of each sale.

More weekly stats and numbers for those who love them.

Thank-you for reading TeamFisher’s Saskatoon Real Estate Week in Review.

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

Canadian home sales plunge lower in February 2019: CREA

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), released national sales statistics for February of 2019 this week.

According to the report, “Home sales via Canadian MLS® Systems plunged 9.1% month-over-month in February 2019 to the lowest level since November 2012. The month-over-month decline was the largest recorded since the B-20 stress test came into effect in January of last year.”

The number of homes trading hands was down from the previous month in three- quarters of all local markets, including all major cities.”

Highlights of CREA’s report

  • National home sales plummeted 9.1% month-over-month (m-o-m) in February.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was down 4.4% year-over-year (y-o-y).
  • The number of newly listed homes fell 3.2% m-o-m.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) was virtually unchanged (-0.1% y-o-y).
  • The national average sale price fell by 5.2% y-o-y.

Read the entire report on Canadian MLS® sales for February 2019.

Read also: CREA’s updated housing forecast for 2019.

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