A closer look at the Saskatoon real estate statistics for March 2007

The Saskatoon real estate market took off like a rocket in March producing bidding wars which can only be described as ridiculous for anyone who has been working in this business for any amount of time. By month end, almost 65% of properties sold were selling at, or above the list price. Average overbids were coming in around the $15,000 range and buyers were lining up to throw money at home sellers. An unfortunate sense of desperation hung thick as new comers, first-time buyers and investors scrambled for a piece of the action.


Average selling times slid once again to just 16 days and the average price of a Saskatoon home (condo and single-family detached combined) took an incredible leap forward from $188,028 in February to $203,065 in March, marking the first time that the average ever topped $200,000 in Saskatoon.

Saskatoon real estate statistics for March, 2007

An incredible 295 houses traded hands, at an average of $6,000 above the asking price. Average selling prices for Saskatoon houses jumped to $208,123 from $194,360 the month before.

Saskatoon house sale statistics for March, 2007

The condo market produced 93 sales. Virtually everything that was offered for sale was subject to offers quickly. The average selling price spiked again to an unbelievable $189,275 from $158,924. Average selling prices exceeded average list prices by more than $11,000.


Considering that the average was below $145,000 in December, this is truly difficult to fathom. Condo prices are appreciating much quicker than house prices, which also feel out of control, and I expect that we’ll see some kind of a correction between these two categories. I suspect this is happening because larger numbers of people are trying to get into the market at this more affordable entry level.

Saskatoon condo sale statistics for March, 2007

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.

Follow our daily updates on Twitter @SaskatoonHomes.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate

Saskatoon real estate: Week in review (April 2-5 2007)

Home buyers found no relief in a hectic Saskatoon real estate market this past week as the total percentage of homes which sold at or above the asking price increased to 81% and average over bids topped $20,000 for the first time. 56 of the 80 homes which traded hands sold above list price.


Saskatoon’s Area 5 stands out as the hottest trading area with the highest average over bid at $23,268. None of the 12 sales reported in that zone sold below the list price. Sellers in Area 1 also did exceptionally well with 18 of 21 sales going above list by an average of $21,283.


Here’s a quick look at the numbers.


Saskatoon real estate week in review April 2-5

Notable sales:

  • Forest Grove one-bedroom condo (635’) sells for $120,000.
  • Wildwood condo (800’) leaves the market at $145,500.
  • Haultain condo (740’) fetches $137,700.
  • Mount Royal bungalow (912’) brings $189,000.
  • Lakeview two-storey (1,800’) sells $44,500 above list at $354,500.
  • Pacific Heights bungalow (1,041) fetches $177,900.

Active listings of single-family homes and condominiums remained desperately low at 237 units across all areas and price ranges. It seems that 4 out of 5 inquiries to a listing agent results in a “sorry, we have an offer on that one.”

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.

Follow our daily updates on Twitter @SaskatoonHomes.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate

March 2007 brings new Saskatoon real estate price records: SRAR

March came in and out like an angry lion for those engaged in the Saskatoon real estate market with the average home price breaking the $200,000 mark for the first time in Saskatoon’s history. The average selling price of a Saskatoon home was $200,938, up from $156,670 last March.


According to figures released by the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS®, agents brought a total of 473 new residential listing to the market in March, a 14% increase over the same month last year. In turn, agents sold 433 homes which representing a 42% increase in unit sales over the previous March.


Consider also, that unit sales in Area 4 where home prices are historically lower nearly tripled over numbers recorded last March and you’ll see that the “average selling price” is being skewed downwards as a result. The price of a Saskatoon home has increased to a great degree than what is reflected in the “averages.”

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.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate

Pricing your Saskatoon home for the greatest return

Pricing your Saskatoon Home for the Greatest return

It’s never been harder to predict the probable selling price of a home in the Saskatoon real estate market. At most points in my career, it’s been reasonably easy to come pretty close with a little prudent research. Now, things seem to be changing so rapidly that it’s hard to answer the question with a great deal of confidence when a seller asks, “What can I get for my house?”


Take comfort in the fact that if a home is properly marketed and given good exposure to home buyers, the price which you ask is almost inconsequential, as long as it’s not too high. What’s most comforting is that if you price your home very attractively, you may in fact get far more than you even expected you might.


A recent experience which I had with one of my clients is a perfect example of how price can impact results. I share it with you with their permission.


Joe and Sally (not their real names) wanted to sell their home. As prudent home seller’s, they decided to interview three agents for the job. During my time with them I stressed the importance of selecting an agent based on services and marketing strategy and I asked them to try to focus on those things in making their selection, and not on the agent’s “price.”


Sometimes, agents will tell a seller almost anything to secure a listing hoping that they may eventually convince the seller to reduce it to a reasonable and marketable price. I refuse to do this. Invariably, it costs the seller something, if not a lower sale price, certainly some lost time and frustration. An agent has a responsibility to provide his or her best advice, even if it’s something the client would rather not hear. At the heart of an agency relationship is the principle, “protect and promote the client’s interests” and that begins with the truth.


The first agent that Joe and Sally interviewed suggested that the home’s value was “somewhere between $155,000 and $165,000.” They were left feeling disappointed as they had hoped they could get more. This agent later revised his suggested list price to $199,900 after researching the market further.


When I met them I explained the complexities of pricing real estate today. I told them that I couldn’t be sure how much we could get, but I proposed a strategy that I thought would deliver a top dollar sale. I knew full well that the first price proposed was too low. Even the most aggressive buyer is only willing to go so far over list price, and a price which is too low can cause buyers to be suspicious and to wonder what’s wrong with the home. I felt the home could look very attractive at $20,000 above this agent’s high range. I suggested that we price the home at $184,900 and I felt confident that it would attract offers above the list price.


The next agent whom they met with suggested a list price which was somewhere above the $210,000 mark. Joe and Sally even felt that the suggested price was “too high” but like all home sellers they hoped to maximize their return on resale. For the record, I’m not suggesting that this agent was in any way underhanded in his suggestion. Sometimes, it’s simply an honest overestimation of the market’s potential, something all agents have done, and what I suspect probably happened here. As I said, it is difficult right now to nail that perfect price.


You can probably appreciate that Joe and Sally’s day was getting better with each agent they interviewed. They’d gone from $155,000 to $210,000 plus in just a couple of hours. Confused, they decided to interview a fourth agent the following week. That agent suggested a price of $197,000, making my suggested list price the lowest of the four.


When all was said and done, Joe and Sally decided to list their property with the agent who suggested the highest price. They talked him down a bit and the home went on the market at $209,900. The property was listed for two full weeks and during that time many people came to see it. Their agent diligently worked the listing hosting two open houses. Thirty eight groups of people attended the first one, but soon traffic began to dwindle to “two or three showings each day.” A couple of people made verbal offers both of which were substantially below list. At one point a decent written offer was accepted but ultimately, the buyer failed to remove conditions and the listing expired without success.


I was surprised, but very pleased to hear from Joe. When I got the call he asked, “Would you like to list our house?”


“Yes, I would,” I said and a meeting was scheduled to get the home back on the market.


This time, I proposed a listing price of $189,900. It was two weeks later and things had changed some. Again, I was confident that with such a price I good generate lots of interest and in all likelihood present offers above the list price. It took some trust on their part to approve this number as it was a lower price than the offer they had received, and even though it hadn’t completed, I’m sure that the offer price had become the benchmark by which they would judge any future offer. Further, it was still well below the price which was suggested by all of the other agents they interviewed. They decided to trust me and I listed the home at the proposed price.


I began with the usual process of preparing my marketing materials including feature sheets, virtual tour and an internet ad. Before I placed the home on the MLS®, I emailed it to over 300 agents and invited them to schedule a showing for this home which would be available the following day. By the end of the day, I had booked about a dozen showings. The following morning I placed the home on the MLS® and the telephone continued to ring and more showings were scheduled. Over thirty prospective buyers went through the home that day, and by the time I met with Joe and Sally later that evening I had seven offers to show them.


Joe and Sally accepted an offer that evening which significantly exceeded the original asking price of $209,900 (by enough to buy some pretty cool stuff) and the sale has since firmed up.


During the previous listing, the buyers called all the shots. They know that the Saskatoon housing market is hotter than it’s ever been and they were probably suspicious that this home had not sold quickly like most others have. Nobody is excited about paying top dollar for a home which nobody else seems real interested in. A lukewarm buyer can be difficult to deal with. Whatever the case, the price at that time was not causing them to really want this lovely house.


On the other hand, our new price created some excitement. Buyers were nearly tripping over each other during that first day of showings and it was totally obvious to everyone who came by that this home was attracting interest and would likely sell today. Buyers came to the table with their very best offer. In fact, if we had four homes just like it, they all would have sold above the previous list price. That’s right; four of those seven offers were above $209,900.


This is a pricing strategy which I’ve used with great success since this bull market began; generating offers which exceed the asking price by as much as 20%.


When you price your home, you’ll want to take some care that you’re not too low, but be particularly careful that you’re not too high. An attractive price which ensures buyer interest is just as important in a hot market as it is in a balanced one.

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.

Follow our daily updates on Twitter @SaskatoonHomes.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate

Saskatoon real estate: Week in review (March 26-30 2007)

The average selling price of Saskatoon homes topped $200,000 for the third consecutive week.

Sales reported to the Saskatoon Real Estate Board over the past week averaged sale prices of $210,804, up over $10,000 from the week before. This is the first week since I started the “Week in review” where the average list price exceeded $200,000.


The percentage of homes which sold at or above asking price was 64%, a number which seems to be fairly typical over the last several weeks. Area 5 was the clear winner in this category with about 80% of homes reported sold selling at or above their asking price.


The “average overbid” in case where a property sold above asking price was almost the same as the previous week’s number at $14,076.


Total active listings of single-family homes and condominiums numbered 226 which is a marginal decrease from the week before.

Saskatoon real estate: week in review

Some of the more notable sales include the following:


  • The typical Lakeview “apartment style condo” breaks a new record with a 2 bedroom unit selling at $150,500.
  • 1,300 square foot town house in University Heights goes for $30,000 above asking price at $245,000.
  • 950 square foot bungalow at Cumberland and College brings $265,000.
  • 1,170 square foot bungalow on a busy Lawson Heights street fetches $290,000.
  • 1,040 square foot bungalow in Mount Royal sells for $204,000.
  • 1,160 square foot Fairhaven bi-level finds a new owner at $240,000.

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.

Follow our daily updates on Twitter @SaskatoonHomes.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate