Rising inventory levels bring Sask housing market back to earth: Royal LePage

SASKATCHEWAN, October 6, 2008 – The red-hot house prices and wild activity of Saskatchewan’s recently explosive real estate market have both tempered during the third quarter. The combination of rising inventory levels and a decrease in buyer demand in both Saskatoon and Regina have positioned the real estate markets in both cities in the buyers’ favour, according to a House Price Survey report released today by Royal LePage Real Estate Services.   However, despite the tempering activity over the past few months, year-over-year house price gains in both cities are ranked as the highest in the country.

The local economies in Saskatoon and Regina both continue to prosper as a result of the booming agricultural and resource sectors, and an abundance of employment opportunities continue to attract new workers to the province.  However, the rising house prices appear to have reached a cap; after lagging behind much of the country, house prices in Saskatchewan have caught up and are now on par with other comparable cities.

In Saskatoon, the recent run-up of house prices has finally come to a tipping point, where buyers have become reticent to enter the market.  During the third quarter, Saskatoon’s housing market returned back to earth, with rates of house price appreciation that are more sustainable in the long term.

In Saskatoon, the average price of standard condominiums rose by 1.8 per cent to $211,250, year-over-year. Standard two-storey homes climbed by 10.7 per cent to $358,250, while the price of detached bungalows appreciated by 9.4 per cent to $321,500, year-over-year.

“House prices in Saskatoon are still up year-over-year, but the frenzy has definitely worn off compared to what the city experienced in previous quarters,” explained Norm Fisher, sales manager, Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate, Saskatoon “The combination of cautious buyers, and the recent activity of many speculative sellers has led to a surplus of inventory and a decline in prices during the third quarter.  The housing market is now tipping towards the buyers’ favour – for the first time in several months.”

The condominium market is mostly affected by the surge in inventory as this property type received the most attention from speculative and out-of-town buyers who were hoping to cash in on the city’s booming market.  Many would-be buyers are now taking a wait-and-see approach before jumping into the market.

Average listing periods have more than tripled over the past year; since the third quarter 2007, current figures for days on market has increased to approximately 55, up from 13.

Added Fisher: “Buyers and sellers both need to understand the current market conditions before taking any action; sellers need to be aware that the market has changed significantly and must list their homes accordingly.”

In Saskatoon North, the average price of a standard two-storey home rose by 6.1 per cent to $350,000, year-over-year.  Detached bungalows rose by 7.5 per cent to $322,500, while the price of a standard condominium dipped by 2.1 per cent to $210,500, year-over-year.

In Saskatoon West, the average price of a standard two-storey home soared by 22.9 per cent to $338,000, while the average value of a detached bungalow also increased, rising by 14.0 per cent to $285,000, year-over-year.

In the East End, the average price of a detached bungalow rose by 12.2 per cent to $364,000, year-over-year.  The average price for standard two-storey homes increased by 12.9 per cent to $412,000, from the same period last year.

In East Central, the price of a standard two-storey home rose by 10.8 per cent to $360,000, while a detached bungalow rose by 10.7 per cent to $332,000 year-over-year.  Standard condominiums also appreciated, rising by 6.0 per cent to $212,000, year-over-year.

Market activity in Regina paralleled that of Saskatoon, as buyer demand was doused with a surplus of listing inventory.  The increase in available listings has tempered activity and sales prices from the frenetic pace that characterized the market in recent months; however, when surveying prices compared to last year, Regina’s housing market demonstrates substantial gains.

Of the three property types surveyed, standard condominiums showed the greatest year-over-year appreciation, rising by 49 per cent to 196,000, standard two-storey house prices also showed strong gains, jumping 39.6 per cent to $259,000.  Detached bungalow properties rose, increasing by 34.1 per cent to $278,850, year-over-year.

The dynamics of the city’s real estate market has put the breaks on some would-be buyers’ activities, as many are taking time now to see how the market plays out.

“Many buyers are sitting on the sidelines right now, waiting for prices to drop; however, this is likely not going to happen,” said Mike Duggleby, manager, Royal LePage Regina Realty, Regina.  “Our economy is the best it’s ever been, and I anticipate that it’s only going to get better.  The city’s anticipated inter-modal facility will no doubt boost our economy even further, and draw more people to Regina.”

Added Duggleby:  “Six months from now, Regina’s potash, oil and uranium industries will still be flourishing, and we’ll be heading into the busy spring market.  Now is a very good time to invest in Regina’s real estate.”

In Regina North, standard condominiums experienced the largest appreciation, with average prices rising by 50.0 per cent to $180,000, year-over-year.  The average price of a standard two-storey property, followed second, rising by 34.9 per cent to $228,000, while detached bungalows rose by 31.4 per cent to $262,700, year-over-year.

In Regina South, standard condominiums showed the largest gains, rising by 48.3 per cent to $212,000, year-over-year.  The average price of a standard two-storey home increased by 43.6 per cent to $290,000, while the average price of a detached bungalow in the area increased by 36.6 per cent to $295,000, compared to the same period last year.

Click here to view Royal LePage House Price Survey chart for Canadian survey markets.

Click here to view the national release for the Royal LePage House Price Survey.

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

Saskatchewan is Canada’s real estate story for 2007: Royal LePage

Canada’s real estate market posted significant gains in the fourth quarter of 2007 and showed little sign of the traditional seasonal slowdown. Average house prices continued to increase in the fourth quarter with many markets experiencing double-digit gains, according to a House Price Survey report released today by Royal LePage Real Estate Services.


The fourth quarter 2007 was surprisingly strong, with unseasonably high price increases and unwavering demand, said Phil Soper, president and chief executive, Royal LePage Real Estate Services. The strength of the market was apparent throughout the country, largely due to positive economic fundamentals. The value and export-demand for our natural resources has underpinned high employment rates, providing Canadians with confidence in the future stability of their jobs and their local residential real estate markets.


Mirroring the pattern seen throughout most of 2007, it was the prairies that continued to dominate in price appreciation, with markets such as Regina and Saskatoon experiencing price increases as significant as 50 per cent. While agriculture is still a significant contributor to the regional economy, natural resources such as oil, gas, potash and uranium continued to drive exceptional growth in the area.


Homeowners in Saskatchewan saw property prices appreciate at a much higher rate than anywhere else in Canada, reflecting the relative affordability of homes in the region, and a shortage in supply relative to the booming demand for home ownership. The combination of a spike in the number of available jobs, the reasonable cost of living, and the attractiveness of the prairie lifestyle led to an unprecedented number of people searching for homes.


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 leads nation for house price increases in Q2/2007: Royal LePage House Price Survey

RED HOT HOUSING MARKET SEARING IN SASKATCHEWAN; CONDITIONS FORECAST TO CONTINUE TO YEAR’S END

– Significant price appreciations and strong demand will characterize the market through 2007 –

SASKATCHEWAN, July 5, 2007 Intense demand, driven by the swell of in-migration of Saskatchewanians returning from prosperous Alberta, fuelled average house prices and market activity in Saskatchewan during the second quarter; the housing market is anticipated to continue at a similar tempo throughout 2007, according to a report released today by Royal LePage Real Estate Services.


Saskatchewan’s housing market led the country in highest average price appreciations, surpassing the typically frenetic market conditions of oil-rich Alberta. During the second quarter droves of buyers flocked east to Regina and Saskatoon where average house prices are considerably less than in the western provinces. Many buyers have returned home with sizeable equity and are now favouring the simpler life that Saskatchewan offers. Despite the rapid spike in average house prices, market activity has begun to stabilize at the end of the second quarter and is expected to continue at a slightly more temperate pace, albeit still very strong, for the remainder of the year.


The average house price in Regina is forecast to increase by 13.8 per cent to $150,000 by the end of 2007. Unit sales are projected to increase by 18.5 per cent to 3,500 units sold in 2007.

Regina’s booming job market and diversified economy will also continue to attract buyers. Employment in the natural resources sector including the production of oil, potash, uranium and agriculture are poised for steady growth, further strengthening consumer confidence in the economy and housing market.


“We’ve had a tremendous year so far, and all signs indicate healthy and robust conditions for the next six months. Our population will continue to grow, mainly due to the fact that compared to the rest of the country, Regina offers buyers an affordable standard of living, ideal for those looking to escape the burden of large or long-term mortgages,” said Mike Duggleby, manager, Royal LePage Regina Realty.


New to Regina’s housing landscape is the rapid growth in the condominium market. Due to their affordable prices, condominiums have become the favoured choice of first-time buyers entering the market, and despite new construction, demand is outstripping inventory.


Based on the surveyed markets in Regina, the average price of a detached bungalow increased by 42.4 per cent to $204,000, while the average price of a standard condominium rose by 25.2 per cent to $118,300, year-over-year. The average price of a standard two-storey home rose by 19 per cent to $181,917, year-over-year.


Added Duggleby: “Proactive media campaigns in the western provinces promoting Regina as a great place to live appear to be successful based on the strong market activity during the second quarter.”


In Regina North, detached bungalows experienced the largest appreciation, with the average price rising by 42.9 per cent to $195,000, followed by the average price of a standard condominium, which rose by 31.3 per cent to $111,600, year-over-year. Standard two-storey homes increased by 20 per cent to $163,000, year-over-year.


In Regina South, detached bungalows showed significant gains, rising by 42 per cent to $213,000, year-over-year. The average price of a standard two-storey home rose by 18.1 per cent to $200,833 while the average price of standard condominiums in the area rose by 47.1 per cent to $125,000 over the same period last year.


With the same fundamental conditions in tact as in Regina, market activity in Saskatoon was frenetic during the second quarter; with even more significant price appreciations recorded. Very limited supply, coupled with fierce demand drove prices up in all housing categories, with huge appreciations in the condominium sector.


“While strong demand dramatically pressured prices upwards for much of the second quarter, the market has begun to temper. Moving into the third quarter and onwards, we expect to see slightly fewer buyers, as first time buyers retract due to the erosion of affordability,” said Norm Fisher, sales manager, Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate. “However, our strong employment rates and abundance of job opportunities in diverse sectors like small business, sciences and construction will continue to keep the market buoyant and operating at conditions unparalleled to what we have ever experienced in recent years.”


Based on the surveyed markets in Saskatoon, the average price of a standard condominium rose by a dramatic 84.7 per cent to $205,000, followed by detached bungalows, which increased by 56 per cent to $281,250, year-over-year. The average price of a standard two-storey home rose by 55.2 per cent to $305,000, year-over-year.


The brisk activity and rising prices have also had a ripple effect into neighbouring areas. The typically slower market in Swift Currant has been invigorated by a spill over of buyers from Saskatoon.


Added Fisher: “During the second quarter increased demand drove listing periods down to mere days and stimulated aggressive multiple offer situations, conditions that are not typical of this market. In fact, in recent weeks, as many as 80 per cent of properties reported sold went above the asking price – by an average of $26,000.”


In Saskatoon North, the average price of a standard two-storey home rose by 48.8 per cent to $305,000, year-over-year. Detached bungalows rose by 50.5 per cent to $280,000, while the price of a standard condominium saw a huge price appreciation rising by 101.9 per cent to $210,000 – the highest price appreciation recorded in all housing types in Saskatoon in the second quarter.


In Saskatoon West, the average price of a standard two-storey home rose by 61.7 per cent to $270,000, while the average value of a detached bungalow also increased, rising by 58.1 per cent to $245,000, year-over-year.


In the East End, the average price of a detached bungalow rose by 59.8 per cent to $310,000, year-over-year. The average price for standard two-storey homes increased by 51.4 per cent to $330,000, from the same period last year.


In East Central, the price of a standard two-storey home rose by 60.7 per cent to $315,000 compared to last year, while the average price of a detached bungalow rose by 55.9 per cent to $290,000. Standard condominiums rose significantly by 80.2 per cent to $200,000.

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

Women drive housing demand and hammer away at renovations

Women drive housing demand and hammer away at renovations

The “2007 Royal LePage Female Buyers Report” was released this morning.   The report which marries findings from a national consumer poll with anecdotal research examines buying habits of Canadian women.  Among some of the findings, the report found that women are playing an increasingly significant role in the real estate market.  In fact, of single women who are not yet homeowners, 31 per cent say they will potentially purchase their next home within three years and 30 per cent already own.


With a cheque book firmly in one hand and a hammer confidently in the other single female homebuyers of all ages continue to knock down barriers by purchasing real estate and tackling home repairs. Currently, 30 per cent of single, never-before married women own their own home, while 45 per cent of divorced or separated women and 64 per cent of widowed women are homeowners, according to the Royal LePage Female Buyers Report released today.


Click here for the media release and access to the entire report.

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