In spite of a strong December, Saskatoon real estate market sees a drop in sales in 2017: SRAR

A media release from the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® with an overview of residential MLS® sales and listing activity for the month of December 2017 follows.

The number of Saskatoon home sales for December came in at 205 units, up 11 percent compared to the same month in 2016. Sales activity in the area surrounding Saskatoon saw a 13 percent increase. These gains could be partially attributed to the mortgage rule changes that took effect January 1st of 2018. Home buyers with a downpayment of 20 percent or more now have to qualify at an interest rate that is 200 basis points higher than the posted rate, or the Bank of Canada’s five-year rate, whichever is higher.

Listing activity, on the other hand, declined dramatically with an 18 percent reduction in new listings for the month, year-over-year. “This decrease in listing activity could be the result of seller’s fatigue from having been on the market for an extended time period without securing an offer,” according to Jason Yochim, CEO of the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® (SRAR). “The increase in December sales and decline in new listings is a positive for decreasing high inventory levels,” he added.

Not surprisingly, with lower sales and a large inventory of homes to choose from, home prices continued to see downward pressure. The median price for a home in Saskatoon declined by 3.3 percent from last December to $324,000 while the average price showed a half point decline to $339,520. The Home Price Index (HPI) composite benchmark value declined by 3.7 percent to $295,100, its lowest point since March of 2012. The HPI composite value has been in an overall decline since August of 2016 when it was $317,600.

On average, it took 61 days to sell a Saskatoon home in December, up sharply from 51 for the same month last year.

The year-to-date story for 2017 is one of a slower market when compared to 2016. The total dollar volume for this year’s sales came in just shy of $1.6 billion, a nine percent decrease from 2016. This was the third straight year of decline since the Saskatoon market peaked with sales volume of $2.1 billion in 2014. Saskatoon home sales totalled 3,491 units in 2017, a five percent decline from 2016, and significantly lower than the five-year average of 3,957 sales. In 2017 there were a total of 8,972 homes listed for sale within Saskatoon, a three percent decline from the previous year. The sales-to-listing ratio (percentage of listings that became firmly sold while listed for sale) for the year was 35 percent. In other words, roughly a third of the homes listed actually ended up selling.

“Successfully selling a home in this current market requires more than information,” comments Yochim. “Sellers need the guidance of a REALTOR® to understand how historical sales data impacts their pricing decision.”

For further information, please contact:

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

Saskatoon real estate week in review: December 24-30, 2017

Like the weather, the Saskatoon real estate market cooled significantly as we moved through what is invariably the slowest week of the year for home sales. REALTORS®, who find that their phones are not at all likely to ring at this time of year find themselves distracted by visions of the sugarplums dancing in their heads, last minute shopping and a great opportunity to unwind after a busy year.

Still, December wrapped up with 205 Saskatoon homes firmly sold, up from 190 last year, but falling short of being the “strongest December in a decade” as I suggested might be the case a couple of weeks ago. There were three Decembers over that period that saw higher levels of trades (215 in 2014, 255 in 2011, and 213 in 2009).

As for the week, agents brought 26 new listings to the multiple listing service®, mostly re-lists that had previously expired. That number is down from 87 the week before and falls below Christmas week listings of last year by six. Just 16 residential sales were reported, down from 44 the week before, for an annual decline of ten.

The inventory of Saskatoon homes for sale on the MLS® fell lower to 1607, down 19 from last week’s close, and up from 1560 a year earlier. Given that a good number of listings will likely expire on the 31st falling into next week’s numbers, we are likely to see one more decline in the inventory before it begins a slow steady upward crawl into the new year. A closer look by category shows 878 active single-family home listings, down from 900 last week, but up from 820 a year ago. Condo listings are sitting at 625 today, virtually unchanged over the course of the week, but up from 607 at this time in 2016.

With just 16 sales in the mix, the price numbers are pretty much meaningless but for the sake of consistency, here goes. The median sale price for the week bounced out of an atypical low to finish at $356,450 while the average sale price of a Saskatoon home this week edged higher to $333,084. The six-week average price grew by nearly five thousand dollars to hit $340,210 for a year-over-year increase of about six hundred dollars. The four-week median price also moved higher picking up nearly four thousand dollars from the week before, but closing lower than it did during the same week last year by 14K.

While three fortunate sellers did manage to close a deal at their asking price, the remaining 13 homes were reported to have sold below list price. The average discount was lower than what I would have expected during a week when sellers would have been lucky to even see a home buyer. Those homes that did sell below the listed price recorded an average discount of just $10,765.

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

As 2017 draws to a close, I’d like to wish each of you a happy new year. Thank you so much for continuing to read our updates.

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: December 17-23, 2017

Saskatoon real estate sales fell sharply lower this week as local agents reported just 44 firm residential trades to the multiple listing service®, down from 63 during the previous period, and lower by two compared against the number of sales generated during the same week last year.

New listing activity actually increased, most likely due to a week that brought with it a high number of expired listings that re-appeared in the new listing category after they failed to sell during their first go round. This week saw 87 new listings added to the MLS®, an increase of 17 from both the previous week and the same week last year.

The number of active residential listings for sale on the Saskatoon MLS continued to decline, this week falling to 1636, its lowest level since early February. Today’s final tally is down 42 from a week earlier, and still up 16 from a year ago. We close the week with 900 single-family homes for sale, up 52 from this time a year ago. Condo inventory shows a year-over-year decline for the second week in a row with a marginal decline of just two units. As of this morning, there are 627 Saskatoon condominiums for sale on our MLS®.

Increased levels of sales at entry level price points brought the median sale price of a Saskatoon home lower this week to $315,250. The average sale price of a Saskatoon home sold this week fell just a few thousand dollars to $336,268. The longer-term measures that we track both managed to slip lower. The six-week average declined nearly four thousand dollars to $335,368. That’s down about five thousand dollars from a year ago, and its lowest point on the chart for this particular week in five years. The four-week median price fell half as much as the average and reached $321,250 for a year-over-year drop of 14K. It’s also at a five-year low for week 51.

Once again, sellers who had any hope that multiple buyers might bid up their price and deliver a sale for more money than they had asked were left disappointed. Not a single Saskatoon home sold above list price, but one seller did find a buyer willing to pay what they’d asked. The remaining 43 trades resulted in a price that was below asking price by an average of $15,118.

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

To those who celebrate Christmas, have a wonderful time with your family and friends in the days ahead. I look forward to catching up next weekend as we close 2017.

I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions.  All of my contact info is

Canadian home sales rise sharply in November 2017: CREA

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), released national sales statistics for the month of November 2017 this week.

Home sales via Canadian MLS® Systems rose for the fourth month in a row in November 2017, up 3.9% from October.

Highlights of CREA’s report

  • National home sales rose 3.9% from October to November.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was up 2.6% from November 2016.
  • The number of newly listed homes climbed 3.5% from October to November.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) was up 9.3% year-over-year (y-o-y) in November 2017.
  • The national average sale price edged up 2.9% year-over-year in November.

Read the entire report on Canadian MLS® sales for November, 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: December 10-16, 2017

As the second week of December came to a close the Saskatoon real estate market continued to show great spirit. With 145 firm sales in the bag already, month-to-date sales are shaping up to deliver the strongest December in a decade. This week, local agents reported 63 firm residential transactions to the MLS®, down four from the previous week to beat sales for the same period last year by 12.

New listing activity continued to soften as it always does at this time of the year. Only 70 new listings were added to the multiple listing service® this week, down 39 the week before. This week’s totals come in shy of the number of new Saskatoon homes listed during the same week last year by 47 units.

MLS® listing inventory in the residential category also followed a typical pattern for the season as the total number of Saskatoon homes offered for sale on the system declined by 62 from a week ago to settle at 1678. That’s just 16 more homes than were available a year earlier, and ten fewer than the final count for this same week in 2015, once again moving us out of “record for the week” territory. On Saturday afternoon, when I pulled these numbers, there were 924 single-family homes showing an active status on the MLS, down from 968 a week earlier, but still well ahead of the 866 properties that could be found on the system last year at this time. Condo inventory went lower by ten from a week earlier to settle at 639, for an annual decrease of 16 units.

With a strong showing of buyers for homes priced above $500K, including one sale that topped $900,000 the average sale price of a Saskatoon home remained strong at $339,048 while the median price was stable at $323,000. The six-week average price fell about four thousand from its close a week earlier to reach $339,048 for an annual decline of six thousand bucks. The four-week median price grew by three thousand dollars from last week reaching $323,000 for a year-over-year drop of six thousand dollars.

Even with brisk sales activity, December’s sale price to list price ratios are weak, as they almost always are during this particular month when sellers are either in a giving mood, or buyers are feeling particularly grinchy. My experience suggests that it’s likely the former. As the holidays approach, sellers consider a decent offer to be a gift that they would sooner keep than return. This week, only two sellers actually got their price while 61 of the period’s 63 sales were reported to have traded below the asking price by an average of $16,110.

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