Home Sales Soften in November, 2018: SRAR

Saskatoon home sales through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS®) totalled 203 units in November, a 22 percent decline compared to the same month last year. By the end of last month, a total of 3,167 Saskatoon home sales had been recorded year-to-date, down 25% from the highs of 2014, and the lowest year-to-date sales number in ten years. 

New residential MLS® listings have also been declining since 2015 when there were 9,411 Saskatoon homes listed by the end of November. This year, that number sits at 7,646 over the same period, a 12 percent decline from last year and down 19 percent from 2015.

Total active residential listings fell to 1716 as November closed, comparable to the five-year average and slightly higher than the 10-year average of 1,388. At the current rate of sales, it would take just over 8 months to liquidate the current active listing inventory. “The months of inventory has been steadily increasing from 3.8 months in November of 2012,” comments Jason Yochim, CEO of the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® (SRAR).

“Even though homes were selling at 96.2% of the asking price in November, it still took two months for the average Saskatoon home to sell,” he added. The sale to new listing ratio is a useful measure to determine if it is a seller’s market or a buyer’s market. It is considered to be a balanced market when the ratio is at 50 percent (half as many sales as listings). Lower percentages identify a buyer’s market and higher percentages indicate a seller’s market. The sales to listing ratio in Saskatoon for November was 38 percent.

Typically, when discussing home prices, the focus is on the average price. The average can be misleading and is easily skewed. If there are more high-end homes that sell over a defined period, and fewer over another, the two periods can produce substantially different averages even if values are largely stable. For instance, the average sale price in November was $343,361. That’s up from $325,016 in October. No reasonable analysis would suggest that home values are up five percent in a month. The Home Price Index (HPI) provides a better indicator of what is happening with home prices. The HPI tracks value changes over time for well-defined benchmark homes. The value for the benchmark single-family home was at $310,900 in November. The measure has been modestly trending upwards all year, showing rare year-over-year gains over October and November.

“It’s important to remember that even in a buyer’s market sellers can be successful in realizing a sale on their home,” advises Yochim. “The most important step in selling is pricing to the current market conditions.”

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 for November 18-24, 2018

For the past six weeks, Saskatoon real estate sales numbers have failed to meet those recorded during the same period the year before. Finally, that trend broke this week as local agents brought 66 firm residential sales to the multiple listing service® for a weekly gain of 28 sales, enough to match numbers from the same week last year.

New listing numbers also moved sharply higher coming in at 145. That’s up from last week by 41 and exceeds activity for the same period last year by 29 Saskatoon homes.

The number of Saskatoon homes offered for sale on the MLS® grew slightly this week to 1742, up ten from last week’s close, but down by 114 listings on an annual basis. A closer look at the major housing types shows that buyers have 980 single-family homes to choose from, down 80 from this time a year ago. Condominium inventory is at 650 today. That’s 28 fewer than could be found on the system at this time in 2017.

Upper-end activity remained strong but it couldn’t match the previous week’s steam, even with a sale above a million dollars in the mix, something that has happened far less frequently this year than it has in recent years. There have been only five Saskatoon home sales that topped the million dollar mark so far this year. In 2017 there were 14. This week, the average price of a Saskatoon home fell lower to $331,226 and the weekly median price slipped to $319,500. Meanwhile, the six-week average price of a Saskatoon home inched lower to $333,421. That’s down from a year earlier by less than three thousand dollars. The four-week median price slipped $2500 from the week before to settle at $330,000 which is exactly where it stood a year ago.

For the second consecutive week, we have a lucky seller reporting a sale at more than the asking price, this time by just a thousand dollars. Buyers did manage to grind a discount on 59 of this week’s 66 sales. Those discounts averaged $14,859.

Here is a breakdown of what the sales to listing price ratio looked like on this week’s sales. Please note that those sales that do show a sale price that is greater than the list price are all new properties that spent some period of time on the market, and most likely included additional improvements that were not reflected in the original list price. We report these to you as “at list price sales”, which is likely too generous in some cases, but it’s simply not practical to obtain the full details of each sale.

More weekly stats and numbers for those who love them.

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 for November 11-17, 2018

It was another lacklustre week of sales for the Saskatoon real estate market. By the close of business Friday, just 38 residential sales had been reported to the MLS® system for the week, one fewer than the previous week, and 27 below the numbers that were recorded over the same week last year. This was the sixth consecutive week in which sales fell on an annual basis. As of today, MLS® sales for the city are down about 4.4 percent, year-to-date.

New listing numbers slipped lower by 15 when compared to the previous week, and roughly matched what we saw come on the market over the same period last year. This week’s final tally was 104 Saskatoon homes.

The inventory of residential properties for sale on the multiple listing service® fell for the eighth week in a row to settle at 1732, which is down from a year earlier by 156 units. It looks like we will close the year with fewer active listings than we have had at the end of the last three years, but it’s still high, given the weakened demand that we’re seeing right now.

A closer look by major housing category shows buyers have 979 single-family homes to choose from. That’s down from 1071 a year ago. There are currently 643 Saskatoon condominiums for sale, 28 fewer than were available at this time last year.

Price trends get tricky to follow when weekly sales start to drop between 50 units. It’s typical to see larger than normal swings from one week to the next. That certainly happened this week.

More than 25 percent of this week’s sales recorded a sale price above $450,000 and that pushed the average price for the week significantly higher to $360,828. A mix of sales that leaned towards the upper end ushered the weekly median sale price higher to $359,000. Meanwhile, the six week average price jumped seven thousand dollars above last week’s number to close at $335,048. That’s about where it was a year ago. The four-week median price spiked higher by more than sixteen thousand dollars and reached $332,500 to beat last year’s number by seventy five hundred dollars.

One fortunate seller got a nice holiday bonus as the sale on their home closed at nearly $16,000 more than they had asked when they put up the sign. On the flip side of the negotiating table, 33 buyers wrapped up a deal that provided them with an average discount of $15,462.

Here is a breakdown of what the sales to listing price ratio looked like on this week’s sales. Please note that those sales that do show a sale price that is greater than the list price are all new properties that spent some period of time on the market, and most likely included additional improvements that were not reflected in the original list price. We report these to you as “at list price sales”, which is likely too generous in some cases, but it’s simply not practical to obtain the full details of each sale.

More weekly stats and numbers for those who love them.

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

Canadian home sales activity slows in October, 2018: CREA

The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), released national sales statistics for October of 2018 today.

According to the report, “Home sales via Canadian MLS® Systems edged back by 1.6% in October 2018. While activity is still stronger compared to the first half of 2018, it remains below monthly levels recorded from early 2014 through 2017.

“Transactions declined in more than half of all local markets, led by Hamilton-Burlington, Montreal and Edmonton. Although activity did improve modestly in many markets, it was offset by a decline in sales elsewhere by a factor of two.”

Highlights of CREA’s report

  • National home sales fell 1.6% from September to October.
  • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was down by 3.7% from one year ago.
  • The number of newly listed homes eased 1.1% from September to October.
  • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) was up 2.3% year-over-year (y-o-y) in October.
  • The national average sale price slipped by 1.5% y-o-y in October.

Read the entire report on Canadian MLS® sales for October of 2018.

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 for November 4-10, 2018

Saskatoon real estate sales in the residential category fell lower for the sixth week in a row as winter conditions took a firm hold on the market. Local agents reported just 39 firm sales this week, down six from last week, and falling short of sales recorded during the same period last year by 33 units. This is the fifth consecutive week during which sales fell on a year-over-year basis.

New listing activity was also sharply lower as Saskatoon real estate agents added just 119 new listings to the multiple listing service®. That number is lower than the previous week by 32. During the same week last year 161 Saskatoon homes came onto the MLS®.

The total number of Saskatoon homes available to buyers on the MLS® was stable on a weekly basis. As of this morning, 1749 such properties could be found in the “active” category, down just one from a week earlier. A year ago there were 1910 homes for sale on the system. Condo inventory sits at 651, down from 685 a year ago. The number of detached single-family homes for sale is now at 987, down from 1107 on this date last year.

Both the weekly median sale price and the average sale price of a Saskatoon home took marginal gains this week to $344,713 and $337,000 respectively. The six-week average price inched higher by seven hundred dollars from the last period to reach $327,856. That’s about ten thousand dollars lower than it was a year ago. The four-week median price slipped to $315,950 to finish the week down on an annual basis by $11,500.

For the first time in a few weeks, we have one house that sold for more than the asking price. The typical Silverwood Heights four-level split sold $3100 above the seller’s list price. Meanwhile, 37 of the week’s sales went below the list price and netted buyers a discount averaging $13,143.

More weekly stats and numbers for those who love them.

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