High inventory, softer demand and weaker prices provide ideal conditions for buyers in October 2017: SRAR

I apologize for the delay in posting the October 2017 MLS® sales and listing stats for Saskatoon. The House Price Index (HPI) numbers needed some work following an August upgrade to the MLS® system and I was not comfortable moving forward before that was completed.

A media release from the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® with an overview of residential MLS® sales and listing activity for the month of October 2017 follows. I have edited the original release for grammar, and to include the updated HPI numbers to the corrected stats, which show a year-over-year decline, as opposed to an increase that was originally reported with this release.

Conditions remain ideal for those in search of a home in Saskatoon with 1,967 city listings on the market at the end of October, plus an additional 1,022 residential properties in the regions outside of Saskatoon. This is an increase of almost 12 percent compared to the same time last year. With upcoming mortgage rule changes being introduced in the new year, relatively low interest rates and more available homes, this is an ideal time for buyers to tie up that purchase. 

The sales-to-listing ratio for Saskatoon was just over 40 percent in October. This means that for every ten homes listed for sale, four were successfully sold. The number of Saskatoon sales for October was 287 units. Although this was an eight percent decline compared to October 2016, it represented an increase of ten percent over September’s sales of 262. Year-to-date, by the close of October sales for Saskatoon were at 3,030 units, a 6.7 percent decrease from the same period last year. A total of 8,069 homes have been placed on the market this year in Saskatoon, down slightly from 8,217 by this time last year. 

“I expect that there may be a slight spike in sales as the year winds down,” comments Jason Yochim, CEO of the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS®. “This would be due to recently introduced mortgage qualification rules for conventional buyers plus some recent upward pressure on interest rates.” The federal government continues to address issues with overheated markets in Canada’s two largest cities. These rule changes, however, affect local real estate markets much differently. 

The average days on market for a home in Saskatoon was 54, which is unchanged from September and slightly higher compared to October of 2016 when it took 50 days. Not surprising, with higher inventory levels and declines in sales the average selling price for a home in Saskatoon continues to fall, with a year-over-year decline of 3.2 percent. It is now at $331,889. The median price, however, remained unchanged at $330,000. The MLS® Composite Home Price Index (HPI) Benchmark Price fell by just over four percent annually to $299,900. The Composite HPI measures the rate of change in a benchmark price for a typical home and is the most accurate indicator of pricing direction in a market.

For further information, please contact:

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

Saskatoon home sales fall significantly in September 2017: SRAR

I apologize for the delay in posting the September MLS® sales and listing stats for Saskatoon. The House Price Index (HPI) numbers needed some work following an August upgrade to the MLS® system and I was not comfortable moving forward before that was completed.

A media release from the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® with an overview of residential MLS® sales and listing activity for the month of September 2017 follows. I have edited the original release for grammar, and to include the updated HPI numbers to the corrected stats, which show a year-over-year decline, as opposed to an increase that was originally reported with this release. Please do note that I have also already added the October 2017 stats to the charts.

The Saskatoon real estate market saw a 19 percent decline in MLS® home sales in September compared to the same month a year ago. MLS® sale for September of 2016 totaled 324, compared to just 262 in 2017. Year-to-date, there have been 2,745 MLS® sales within the city of Saskatoon, an annual drop of six percent from 2016 when 2,935 homes had traded by this time. Overall, the number of sale transactions recorded by the association in Saskatoon and surrounding areas was 3,701 at the end of September compared to 3,957 by the same date in 2016. This marks a ten percent decline in dollar volume, a drop of roughly $140 million dollars.

The number of properties for sale declined by around 100 units from August to September with a total of 2,082 now on the market. The five year average for active listings is 1,797 units.

“Ideally it would be nice to see the number of active listings around that five-year average or lower,” comments Jason Yochim, CEO of the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS®. “That level would bring us closer to balanced market conditions.” By comparison, in 2007 when the market was a strong seller’s market with escalating home prices, there was an average of just over 400 active listings through the year. Ten years later that average is just under 2000 active listings.

The average length of time for a home to sell is 55 days, just slightly above the September five year average, which is 46 days. The sales-to-listing ratio is a comparison of the number of sales for the month relative to the number of new listings taken. It is considered to be a balanced market when this ratio falls between 40-60 percent. A number above this range is considered a seller’s market while a one below is seen as a buyer’s market. The sales-to-listing ratio for September was 34 percent, well below the five year average of 42 percent. “In a buyer’s market with elevated inventory levels it is critical to understand pricing and to properly prepare your home to compete against other homes in your price range,” cautions Yochim. 

This year, the average selling price of a Saskatoon home fell by 1.4 percent to $347,043. The median price also declined slightly by 2.1 percent to $327,900. In July of this year, the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® elected to remove lot sales from the aggregate number of home sales to give a more accurate picture of pricing, however, in the short-term this change has propped up the average price to some degree in comparison to last year. The MLS® Composite Home Price Index (HPI) Benchmark Price fell lower to $301,800, down 4.3 percent from a year ago when it was $315,400. The Composite HPI measures the rate of change in a benchmark price for a typical home and is the most accurate indicator of pricing direction in a market. 

For further information, please contact:

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

Saskatoon real estate week in review: November 5-11, 2017

The number of local homes that traded hands through the Saskatoon multiple listing service® bounced back this week with 72 firm deals being processed, an increase of 23 from the previous week. That was enough to top sales for the same period last year by 27 units. The number of new Saskatoon real estate listings in the residential category slipped lower to 161 for a weekly decline of nine homes, matching numbers recorded for the same week last year.

Following six weeks of slow but steady declines, the active listing inventory of Saskatoon homes grew marginally this week to 1910, up seven from last week’s close for an annual gain of just 85 properties. That’s the smallest year-over-year increase to the MLS® since the end of June. The closing number was also low enough to keep it slightly below record levels for the second consecutive week, but just barely. At the close of the same week of 2015 total active residential listings sat at 1917. A closer look by major housing types shows condo inventory sitting at 685 today, up just 11 from a year earlier. The greatest annual gains can be counted in the single-family home category which swelled to 1107 from 984 a year ago.

Slightly softer buying activity at the upper end of the market brought the median sale price of a Saskatoon home lower to $330,000. The weekly average followed along and slipped to $355,511. Meanwhile, the six-week average price took its second consecutive gain, following a pretty solid losing streak that brought it to its lowest point in the past five years. That measure moved higher by seven thousand dollars to reach $337,734 to record an annual loss of roughly eleven thousand dollars. The four-week median price fell lower to $327,500 for a weekly drop of less than 5K. That’s just twenty-five hundred dollars lower than it was a year ago.

Sellers wishing for an overbid offer were disappointed this week and not a single sale was reported to have occurred above the asking price. On the flip side of the negotiating table, 68 of this week’s 72 buyers insisted on some give from the seller to close. Those buyers netted a hefty average discount of $14,046.

Here is a breakdown of what the sales to listing price ration looked like on this week’s sales.

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: October 29 – November 5, 2017

Saskatoon real estate sales fell flat this week dropping from 74 residential units last week to just 49. While well down on the week, that was enough to beat sales for the same week last year by two.

Meanwhile, the number of new listings added to the Saskatoon multiple listing service® grew to 170 from just 132 the week before as many of the listings that expired at the end of October came back on the market for another go. New listings for the week fell short of numbers generated during the same period a year ago when 196 Saskatoon homes were listed for sale.

For the first time since early March of this year, the number of homes listed for sale on the Saskatoon MLS® system fell just short of a record for the week. As of this morning, we have 1903 active residential listings, about 103 fewer than were for sale a week earlier, and up from 1799 a year ago. During this same week in 2016 there were 1916 Saskatoon homes for sale. Today’s totals show 1121 single-family homes, down 58 from a week ago, but up 151 from levels recorded at this time last year. Available condominiums fell to 676 from 712 last week to finish higher on an annual basis by just five.

For the second consecutive week, more high end home buyers showed up and made a purchase. Close to one-third of this week’s sales were reported to have closed above the $450,000 mark pushing all of our price measures higher. The average sale price for the week hit $377,834 and the median price jumped to $349,900. The six-week average price grew nearly five thousand dollars from last week to reach $329,434 but finished way down from the same week last year when it was at $351,569. The four-week median price closed the week at $331,250 for a weekly increase of just more than six thousand dollars. That was enough to put it ahead of the number we recorded at this time last year by $1,250. This is the first week that the four-week median price has shown a year-over-year increase since early June.

One seller managed to close a deal above their asking price this week netting a $5,000 bonus while 41 of the week’s sales went below list by an average of $13,968. There were a number of new home sales where a sale price that well exceeded the asking price was reported. I typically cull these out of the “over-list” sales, as I did this week, but their presence does mess with the sale price to list price ratios in a couple of the major trading areas. The average discounts for each area have those sales stripped out so as not to skew them.

Here is a breakdown of what the sales to listing price ration looked like on this week’s sales.

Sales to list price ratio of Saskatoon homes sold through the MLS® the week of October 29, 2017

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: October 22-28, 2017

Saskatoon real estate agents had a busy week with 74 residential sales being reported to the multiple listing service®, well up from 61 the previous week, but slightly below numbers generated during the same week last year when 78 sales occurred.

The number of new residential listings added to the Saskatoon MLS® fell sharply to just 132 for a weekly decline of 33. This week’s residential listing numbers fell short of those recorded during the same period a year earlier by 30 homes.

Total active listings for sale on the Saskatoon MLS® slipped lower for the fifth consecutive week but once again settled in above the two thousand mark, most likely for the final time this year. Inventory typically declines as a new month is ushered in and month-end expired listings come off of the system. This week closed with 2006 active residential listings within the Saskatoon city limits, down 14 from a week earlier, but well ahead of the 1832 Saskatoon homes offered for sale on the system a year earlier. The number of single-family homes for sale slipped by 11 units from last week’s close to 1179 and recorded a year-over-year increase of 184 properties. The number of Saskatoon condos for sale fell by just three over the week to 712, an annual increase of 46 units.

Slightly strengthened activity at the upper end of the Saskatoon real estate market, including a sale at $1.2 million pushed prices higher in three of the four measures that we track and report to you. The average sale price of a Saskatoon home came in at $329,836 and the weekly median price grew to $305,125. The four-week median price jumped eighteen thousand dollars this week to rise from its annual lows and reach $325,000. That’s still eight thousand dollars lower than it was a year earlier. The six-week average price bucked the trend and slipped lower from the previous week when it had already reached an annual low. It fell another 10K to close the week at $324,733. That number is about twenty five thousand dollars lower than it was a year ago.

Surprisingly, three deals closed above the seller’s asking price this week netting tidy bonuses averaging $5400. Another five sales closed at the full asking price. Meanwhile, 66 of this week’s 74 sales record a price below the list price by an average of $14,002. That number was somewhat skewed by a $140,000 discount on the largest sale of the week mentioned in the previous paragraph of this post.

Here is a breakdown of what the sales to listing price ration looked like on this week’s sales.

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