Saskatoon real estate: Week in review (October 27-31 2008)

New listings of Saskatoon houses and condominiums remained soft for the third consecutive week. A total of 94 homes were added to the MLS including 62 single-family homes and 32 condominiums. Additionally, 41 of 69 homes that were cancelled or withdrawn over the past week made a return entry to the system disguised as a new listing. Month end expired listings pushed the active inventory of Saskatoon homes for sale to its lowest point since the week of August 4-8, down nearly 9% from its peak during the week of September 22-26 to settle at 1,604 units including 979 single-family homes and 523 condos.

Following one of the softest sales weeks this year, residential unit sales rebounded to 48 units including 34 houses, 13 condos and one duplex. The gap between new listings and weekly sales was as small as it’s been since the week of March 10-14. As the week drew to a close, so did the month of October which recorded a total of 215 residential sales, well below the 280 units sold last October, but close enough to pre-boom Octobers to give us some hope that things have not completely collapsed in the Saskatoon real estate market.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

The average price of the homes that sold this week bounced back to $290,541, up from $280,071 the week before, while the median sale price moved up about $7,000 to $275,000. The six-week rolling average slid down about $5K and the four-week median sale price remained fairly stable compared to the previous seven weeks. Note that both of those value measures are sitting at late March and early April levels, suggesting that any gains experienced since that time have been lost, or gained, depending on whether you’re selling or buying. The six-week rolling average is about $20,000 lower than its peak in June, and the four-week median price is about $25,000 lower than it was when it reached its highest level in late June.

Click the image for a larger version of the graph.

The largest majority of this week’s buying activity occurred somewhere below the asking price with 45 of 47 buyers managing a discount. The average underbid shot higher to $16,501 largely driven by a few sellers that made some serious moves off of their asking price including one sale of $225,000 on a listing priced of $349,900. The buyer describes the property as an “absolute mess” which requires a total gutting so it would seem that it was significantly overpriced. It’s the largest list price to sale price gap, on a percentage basis that I’ve seen so far.

I thought it might be a good time to have a look at a few of the more notable sales that provide some insight into how things have changed.

•    Lakewood townhome, 1,176 square feet with a single attached garage sells for $210,000. Nine of these units have traded this year at an average price of $243,500, and with the highest sale hitting $265,000 in March.
•    Wildwood bungalow, 1,414 square feet plus a developed basement. Upgraded high-efficient furnace, central air, windows, flooring and paint on the main level sells for $240,000.
•    West College Park bungalow, 1,150 square feet plus a developed basement. Hardwood floors, upgraded kitchen, some newer windows, covered back yard deck at $275,000.

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.

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Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate