Saskatoon home sales surpass 2008 levels in 2009: SRAR

The Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® (SRAR) released the residential real estate statistics for December 2009 today, accompanied by this release.

In the month of December Saskatoon REALTORS® assisted 211 buyers to fulfill their home ownership dreams, this number up 31% from December 2008 when 161 homes were purchased. Year to date 3,822 residential units have been sold, up 9% from 2008 when 3,520 homes were sold by this same time.

The average residential selling price remained steady at $291,554, up 9% from December 2008 when it was $266,420. Year to date, the average selling price was $ 278,779, down 3% from 2008.

In 2009 REALTORS® sold $1,065,500,000 worth of residential real estate in Saskatoon. This number represents an increase of 5% from 2008 when sales totaled $1,013,117,000. The highest amount of activity in 2009 was in $300,000 to $350,000 price range followed by significant activity in the $275,000 to $300,000 price range.

Listing inventory continued to correct throughout 2009. Home buyers had 703 homes to select from at the end of December as compared to 1,127 in December 2008. REALTORS® listed 212 properties last month, down 13% from December 2008 when 245 homes were placed on the market.

Sales activity in communities surrounding Saskatoon was also very high during 2009. 47 properties were purchased in December, up 68% from December 2008 when 28 properties were purchased. Year to date 951 properties have been sold, up 9% from 2008 when 869 properties were sold. The average selling price was $258,996, up 15% from 2008 when the average price was $224,421.

At year-end consumer confidence in the local economy remains optimistic, a necessary component for consumer spending. All indicators point to a stable, steady real estate market in 2010. Unknown variables capable of affecting the market place are provincial revenue streams.

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 Saskatoon Real Estate

How was 2009 for property values in your Saskatoon neighbourhood?

Are you at least a little bit curious about the current price trends for real estate in your neighbourhood? We’ve been putting in some OT over the past couple of days to bring you the latest look into the trends for each Saskatoon area. Those numbers are now available on our “Saskatoon neighbourhoods” pages, but please check out the highlights below before you go.

While most areas produced six-month rolling averages that exceeded the overall averages for the year, indicating that the current trend is upward, the majority of neighbourhoods experienced some decreases through 2009. More often than not declines were in the 3%-10% range.

Exhibition, Hudson Bay Park, Kelsey-Woodlawn, Meadowgreen and North Park all bucked the general trend to record small increases in the average selling price of a house.

A few areas saw declines in the average house price that were out of step with the rest of the city. In Greystone Heights the average selling price of a single-family home dropped $55,000, and the median sale price dropped $53,000. Lakeview saw it’s average drop the most in real dollars by $81,261, while the median price for the area moved down $50,000. Montgomery Place saw a $60,000 drop in the average and a $63,000 drop in the median. Nutana’s average came down significantly falling $80,000, but the median price for the area moved just $10K. Briarwood, Avalon and Erindale also saw average house price declines that were higher than average at $69,445, $63,914 and $48,971 respectively.

This year’s biggest surprise may be Stonebridge, an area that our more bearish readers wrote off as hopeless, bound to become an open range of rickety shacks with garbage and tumbleweeds everywhere. Sorry folks. The average price in Stonebridge declined less than $11,000 over the year as a ten-month supply of inventory nearly vanished.

In the stupid prizes categories, Lakewood condos win for coming closest to the overall condo average in Saskatoon while Holliston wins for most closely following the average Saskatoon house price over the last ten years.

See what happened in your neighbourhood here. While you’re there, please jot us a short note about your area in the comments section of the page.

The same details for Saskatoon can be found here.

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.

Real estate geeks can follow our daily updates on Twitter @norm_fisher.

Our Saskatoon home search tool offers MLS listings represented by all real estate brands, presented with more detail than you’ll find anywhere else. Check it out here.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate

Saskatoon real estate week in review-December 28 to January 1 2010

A total of twenty-five single-family homes and condominiums were reported sold to the Saskatoon MLS system over the past week, a drop of five from the previous week, but nearly double the number that traded during the same period last year.

Thirteen new listings were offered for sale over the past seven days, down two from last week, and lower on a year-over-year basis by nine properties.

Saskatoon home sales exceeded new listings for the third consecutive week, a fairly common occurrence at this time of year as people are generally not inclined to be listing a home for sale over the holidays unless they really have to get a move on. Throw in one hundred and five expired listings this week and watch the total listing inventory tumble to just six hundred and fifteen properties, about fifteen percent lower than last week’s close, and in fact, approaching seasonal norms for the first time in twenty months. We saw similar activity during the final week of 2008 when nearly fifteen percent of active listings fell out of the system but close to half of them returned the following week as sellers put the holidays behind them and got back to work on the selling effort. I expect we’ll see equally strong listing activity next week. As of this morning there are 353 single-family homes and 220 condominiums showing an active status, down from 671 and 358 respectively at this time last year. Based on December’s final sale numbers of 211 units we now have less than a three-month supply of homes, a seller’s market by most definitions.

This week, there was just one cancelled. Three sellers adjusted their asking price.

Following four exceptionally strong weeks for home prices, the average selling price of a Saskatoon home slid lower falling about forty–two thousand dollars from last week to $268,336, but still managing to finish ahead of last year’s average by roughly three thousand dollars. The six-week average found higher ground breaking $290K for the first time this year and reaching its peak during this final week of 2009 at $291,889, twenty-two thousand dollars higher than it was for the same week last year. The four-week median moved in the opposite direction falling just over seven thousand dollars to $276,750 and finished roughly thirty-three thousand dollars higher than it was during the closing week of 2008.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

The average underbid fell to $8,997 from $10,420 last week, for an average discount of 3.1% of the asking price, down from 3.4% last week.

Does anyone have a 2010 predictions they’d like to share?

Happy New Year, and thanks again for reading.

A map displaying the boundaries of Saskatoon real estate areas is here.
An overview of data collection and calculation practices for our statistical reports is here.

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.

Real estate geeks can follow our daily updates on Twitter @norm_fisher.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate

TeamFisher.com to undergo significant renovations

When I moved this blog from Community Server to WordPress back in June I was convinced that it would be easier to manage. I was wrong.

Forget the fact that Pamela and I lived in a virtual hell for two months moving and organizing content, but after all was said and done, I felt like a compulsive neat freak living with a messy desk (yes, I do know exactly how that feels). Stuff just feels out of place, and some of the better bits of content are hard to find, clumsy to navigate and poorly presented. I can see that. I just don’t have the time or the skill to fix it.

Alas, I shall admit that I am not a web designer, and that’s okay. ☺

Rather than continue to tinker with what I do not know, I have engaged the services of professionals to help me sort out my mess. We’ve just signed an agreement with 1000Watt Consulting, a company that specializes in helping real estate brokerages get their web stuff together. I am particularly excited about working with Joel Burslem, Marc Davison and Brian Boero on this project. All three of these guys made Inman’s 2009 “notable individuals” list. There’s a tremendous amount of knowledge and know how going on at 1000Watt so I’m excited to see what might happen here between now and February 4, the projected completion date for the “gutting and redesign.”

I’m most excited to see what develops on our Saskatoon neighbourhood pages. Over the years, these pages have proven themselves valuable to home buyers, especially those who are unfamiliar with Saskatoon. Recently, I’ve done a whack of work with my flickr account organizing more than 1,300 images of Saskatoon and our neighbourhoods. I think that this content, properly presented, will really add a lot.

I’m hoping you might give me a little feedback on real estate listings display on these pages. I have a few options available to me through MyRealPage, my listings service provider. Would you kindly take a look at the three I selected and let me know which you prefer? You’ll find the listings displayed just below the opening text on the following three pages.

Let’s call this one a film strip display.
This page features a map based display.
This one is sort of a grid.  (I ultimately see this being presented as a few rows of homes, rather than the six which currently display).

Thanks a lot for your suggestions, and thank you for continuing to visit.

On behalf of Pamela, Lyndon and myself we wish you the very best in 2010.

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.

Real estate geeks can follow our daily updates on Twitter @norm_fisher.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate

Saskatoon real estate week in review-December 21-25 2009

Saskatoon real estate sales took an expected tumble during Christmas week falling to just thirty units, down from fifty-five last week but trumping numbers for the same week last year when just fifteen single-family homes and condominiums were reported sold to the Saskatoon MLS system. Typically, this week and the next produce the lowest points on our chart at both the back end and the front end of the New Year.

New listing numbers came in remarkably strong given the season with thirty Saskatoon home sellers listing a property during the six days leading up to Christmas, down for fifty-five last week, but substantially higher than the same week in 2008 when just fifteen properties were offered for sale. Both sales and listings recorded a one hundred percent year-over-year gain.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

Active listings continued to slide as total residential inventory lost nearly five percent of its weight on a week-over-week basis and finished fifty-six percent lower than was one year ago. Total active listings are at 728 including 417 single-family detached houses and 264 condominiums. By this time last year there were 1,292 residential properties listed on the Saskatoon MLS system including 782 single-family homes and 429 condos. Last year, there were more houses available for sale than the total of MLS listings available this year. Nationally, as talk of growing home prices has been grabbing headlines residential inventory began to show some signs of turning around as the Canadian Real Estate Association reported a five percent month-over-month increase in residential MLS listings and posted the largest gain since January of 2008 with 69,110 properties being offered for sale during the month of November.

This week, there were just three cancelled and withdrawn listings and not a single one made a return bearing the new listing flag. Five sellers adjusted their price, four taking the traditionally practical downward approach. The other added ten percent to his asking price while visions of sugar-plums danced in his head.

Speaking of sugar-plums, it was nothing short of a plum week for high-end home sellers as five of the thirty home sales reported recorded a price between $642,500 and $795,000. The average selling price reached its highest point this year at $310,143 gaining nearly $100K over the same week last year when a run on low priced condominiums pushed the average price through the floor. The broader six-week average returned us to reality and slipped just under a thousand dollars from last week to $286,389 but showed strong gains over the same week in 2008 when it slid to $270,282. The four-week median took an upward direction once again gaining four thousand dollars on the week to finish at $284,000, well above last year’s number of just $245,000.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

The average underbid on the twenty-nine of thirty Saskatoon homes that sold for less than asking price was $10,420, up marginally from last week when it was $9,924. The average discount as a percentage of the asking price grew from 3.2% last week to 3.4%.

This week in the media

Flaherty raises specific actions he may take to cool housing
Cure for housing market carries risk
Just how big a mortgage can you carry?
Canada’s household debt still manageable: CIBC World Markets
Saskatchewan population breaks new records
Saskatchewan population growth is still too slow to reach 2030 goal
Saskatchewan earning and EI recipients up
A tricky dance of debt for home buyers
U.S. home prices continue to fall
U.S. move to cover Fannie/Freddie losses stirs controversy

As this year draws to a close let me just say thank you all for reading and contributing here. I’m looking forward to a great 2010 and hope the same for all of you.

A map displaying the boundaries of Saskatoon real estate areas is here.
An overview of data collection and calculation practices for our statistical reports is here.

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.

Real estate geeks can follow our daily updates on Twitter @norm_fisher.

Our Saskatoon home search tool offers MLS listings represented by all real estate brands, presented with more detail than you’ll find anywhere else. Check it out here.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate