A media release from the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® with an overview of residential MLS® sales and listing activity for the month of December 2017 follows.
The number of Saskatoon home sales for December came in at 205 units, up 11 percent compared to the same month in 2016. Sales activity in the area surrounding Saskatoon saw a 13 percent increase. These gains could be partially attributed to the mortgage rule changes that took effect January 1st of 2018. Home buyers with a downpayment of 20 percent or more now have to qualify at an interest rate that is 200 basis points higher than the posted rate, or the Bank of Canada’s five-year rate, whichever is higher.
Listing activity, on the other hand, declined dramatically with an 18 percent reduction in new listings for the month, year-over-year. “This decrease in listing activity could be the result of seller’s fatigue from having been on the market for an extended time period without securing an offer,” according to Jason Yochim, CEO of the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® (SRAR). “The increase in December sales and decline in new listings is a positive for decreasing high inventory levels,” he added.
Not surprisingly, with lower sales and a large inventory of homes to choose from, home prices continued to see downward pressure. The median price for a home in Saskatoon declined by 3.3 percent from last December to $324,000 while the average price showed a half point decline to $339,520. The Home Price Index (HPI) composite benchmark value declined by 3.7 percent to $295,100, its lowest point since March of 2012. The HPI composite value has been in an overall decline since August of 2016 when it was $317,600.
On average, it took 61 days to sell a Saskatoon home in December, up sharply from 51 for the same month last year.
The year-to-date story for 2017 is one of a slower market when compared to 2016. The total dollar volume for this year’s sales came in just shy of $1.6 billion, a nine percent decrease from 2016. This was the third straight year of decline since the Saskatoon market peaked with sales volume of $2.1 billion in 2014. Saskatoon home sales totalled 3,491 units in 2017, a five percent decline from 2016, and significantly lower than the five-year average of 3,957 sales. In 2017 there were a total of 8,972 homes listed for sale within Saskatoon, a three percent decline from the previous year. The sales-to-listing ratio (percentage of listings that became firmly sold while listed for sale) for the year was 35 percent. In other words, roughly a third of the homes listed actually ended up selling.
“Successfully selling a home in this current market requires more than information,” comments Yochim. “Sellers need the guidance of a REALTOR® to understand how historical sales data impacts their pricing decision.”
For further information, please contact:
Jason Yochim CAE, CRAE
Chief Executive Officer
Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS®