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

Average house prices rise by double digits in Saskatchewan

Royal LePage Q1-07 House Price Survey released this morning.


SASKATCHEWAN, March 29, 2007 – Strong in-migration and high levels of consumer confidence led to unprecedented levels of demand in Saskatchewan in the first quarter, causing average house prices to rise by double-digits in all surveyed housing categories, according to a report released today by Royal LePage Real Estate Services.


Based on the Saskatchewan markets surveyed, the average price of a standard two-storey home rose by 28.7 percent to $224,833, over the same period in 2006. The average price of a standard condominium increased by 26.8 per cent rising to $128,750, while the average price of a detached bungalow rose by 26.5 per cent to $203,667, year-over-year.


The economy in Saskatchewan remains bright, with employment opportunities in a variety of sectors. Increased demand for housing across the province has resulted in some typically less popular neighbourhoods receiving a lot of attention, as buyers extend their search outside of traditional ‘blue chip’ areas in order to satisfy their housing needs. Despite significant increases to average house prices in the first quarter, housing in the province remains among the most affordable in the country.


In Regina, the housing market got off to a brisk start in 2007, as in-migration to the city fuelled strong levels of demand. Listing inventory remained tight throughout the quarter, pressuring house prices upwards, resulting in a significant number of multiple offer situations.


Properties traded hands quickly throughout the quarter, with the number of listings available unable to satisfy pent-up demand from buyers.


“We have seen strong in-migration to Regina in the first quarter, particularly from the Western provinces, as people are drawn to the city for abundant employment opportunities, an excellent quality of life, and some of the most affordable housing in the country,” said Mike Duggleby, manager, Royal LePage Regina Realty, Regina. “Many purchasers who are relocating from Alberta or British Columbia have accumulated enough equity from their past homes that they can pay for a new home in cash, with money left over to purchase a recreational property.”


Move-up buyers were the most active purchaser group during the first quarter, with all areas of the city remaining in high demand. Washington Park, an area which has typically catered to low-income housing, saw an upswing in activity, as purchasers from outside the province snapped up inexpensive homes with the purpose of using them as income-generating rental units.


In Regina North, detached bungalows experienced the largest appreciation, with the average price rising by 12.8 per cent to $150,000 year-over-year. The average price of a standard condominium also rose by double digits to $95,000 (+11.8%), while a standard two-storey property rose by 12.1 per cent to $148,000, year-over-year.


In Regina South, detached bungalows showed the largest gains, rising by 11.9 per cent to $167,000, year-over-year. The average price of a standard two-storey home increased by 7.0 per cent to $171,000, while the average price of a standard condominium in the area increased by 5.8 per cent to $110,000 compared to the same period last year.


In Saskatoon, strong in-migration, particularly from the Western provinces led to unprecedented demand for housing in the first quarter. A steady supply of properties came on the market throughout the quarter, however listings moved through the system quickly and were unable to satiate purchasers’ demand.


Many former residents of Saskatchewan have been drawn back to the province by the abundance of employment opportunities in a variety of sectors and relatively affordable cost of living. The housing market in Saskatoon has also started to attract out-of-province purchasers, looking to invest in income-generating properties such as multi-unit apartment buildings, duplexes and condominium units.


“Saskatoon is typically a market which is characterized by slow and steady increases in average prices,” said Norm Fisher, sales manager, Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate. “The conditions which have emerged in the first quarter are typical of a large Western city. Momentum in the housing market seems to be picking up weekly, with well over half of all homes selling at, or above, list price.”


Demand for all housing types has been strong throughout the first quarter, with a particular strength shown in the condominium market, as many first-time buyers appear eager to purchase a home before prices rise outside of the range they can afford. Some areas that previously had been considered less desirable saw an upswing in activity in the first quarter, as some purchasers were forced to look outside their preferred neighbourhoods in order to secure a home.


In Saskatoon North, the average price of a standard two-storey home rose by 34.5 per cent to $265,000, year-over-year. Detached bungalows rose by 34.1 per cent to $240,000, while the price of a standard condominium rose by 33.9 per cent to $150,000 over the same period in 2006.


In Saskatoon West, the average price of a standard two-storey home rose by 41.1 per cent to $230,000, while the average value of a detached bungalow also increased, rising by 21.6 per cent, year-over-year to $180,000.


In the East End, the average price of a detached bungalow rose by 36.1 per cent to $245,000, year-over-year. The average price for standard two-storey homes also increased, rising by 31.0 per cent from the same period last year to $275,000.


In East Central, the price of a standard two-storey home rose by 39.8 per cent to $260,000, while a detached bungalow rose by 35.6 per cent to $240,000, year-over-year. A standard condominium also appreciated by 52.4 per cent compared to the same period last year to $160,000.

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