Saskatoon real estate buyers have “opportune market”: 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 August 2017 follows.

With a slight decline in year-over-year home sales, low-interest rates, stable home prices and elevated inventory levels, Saskatoon continues to be an ideal market for home buyers. At the end of August, there were 2,183 active listings in Saskatoon, just slightly down from the record set last month.

“In the coming months, home buyers will look back with hindsight and realize how opportune the market was with all of these elements in place,” according to Jason Yochim, CEO of the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS®. “It is only a matter of time before the market shifts as it always does.” “The concern is that buyers waiting for the bottom of the market in order to make a purchase may end up paying more when buying on the upswing,” adds Yochim. 

The average home is taking approximately 55 days to sell which is the greatest number of days in the past several years. The five-year average days to sell in August is 46. Homes that have been priced relative to this market will see a sale in much less time. The sales to listing ratio compares the number of new listings against the number of sales for the month. In August, the sales to listing ratio was 41 percent, which is consistent with the past three months. For every five homes listed, there are two sales. The year-to-date sales to listing ratio was 37.7 percent, down 3.5 percent compared to 2016. Based on the current level of home sales, it would take between six and seven months to clear out the active listings. This is above the five-year average of just over five months. 

Two-thirds the way through the year, Saskatoon and area saw a total of 3,344 transactions, down five percent from last year. The total number of homes listed for sale, this year was 9,904 which is virtually unchanged from 2016. The total dollar volume for Saskatoon and region year-to-date was $1,139 billion, down nine percent from the same period last year. Within the Saskatoon market, the number of transactions so far this year was 2,484 at the close of August, a five percent decline from the same period last year. 

With lots to choose from the average and median price continued to show signs of slipping. The average price year-to-date declined by one percent to $347,414 while the median price declined by 1.5 percent to $329,950. Considering the challenging economy, high supply of housing and a softened demand, pricing has not been dramatically impacted so far. “Pricing of a home is one of the most important decisions in a successful sale,” comments Yochim. “REALTORS® are the most informed when it comes to knowing the market for a specific property at a specific time,” he adds.

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

Saskatoon homes sales well down in July, 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 July, 2017 follows.

The warm weather in July appears to have taken some purchasers out of the Saskatoon market with a monthly decline in unit home sales of 16 percent compared to July of 2016. Year-to-date, unit sales are down nearly four percent for Saskatoon compared to the first seven months of last year. Sales in the region surrounding Saskatoon increased just over 17 percent for the month compared to last July, while the year-to-date numbers declined slightly by 2.6 percent. So far this year, there has been a total of 2,155 unit sales within Saskatoon and another 596 in the region surrounding the city. The total dollar volume recorded for Saskatoon and region this year is $989 million off five percent from last year.

The number of active listings in Saskatoon has reached a new peak at 2,210 with an additional 1,125 properties available in the market outside Saskatoon. At the current rate of monthly sales, it would take just over seven months to liquidate the current inventory completely. The average home is taking approximately 50 days to sell which is consistent with the past two Julys. The homes that are selling are seeing a sale price that is at 96.7 percent of the asking price. “These stats would indicate to me that those who are serious about selling are pricing to market and getting very close to their asking price and in much less time than the current 50-day average,” according to Jason Yochim CEO with the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS®. 

The number of listings taken this year in the Saskatoon and region market is consistent with last year at 8,693. In Saskatoon, there have been 5,795 properties listed since January 1, very similar to numbers for the past two years.

Prices continue to show signs of slight decline as well. The average sale price in July of 2017 was 6.4 percent lower than it was in July of 2016. Year-to-date, the average price has slipped from $351,855 to $348,960. The median price for the year has also decreased slightly from $335,000 to $329,500. The Composite Home Price Index (HPI) benchmark price for July declined by 2.2 percent compared to last July. The HPI is considered to be the best indicator of the trend in home prices and measures the rate of change month-over-month. “Based on the theory of supply and demand it is reasonable to expect that prices are not likely to strengthen until the number of active listings declines,” comments Yochim. “It is important to remember that these changes in pricing are an aggregate of the entire market and will vary based on area, type of home and availability of similar properties to the subject. Access to this information is critical to accurate pricing and can be obtained through consultation with one of our members.”

Jason Yochim CAE, CRAE , Chief Executive Officer 

Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® 

Saskatoon average and median home prices ‘virtually unchanged’ in June 2017: SRAR

At the halfway point of the year, housing sales are on par with year-to-date totals in 2016. 1,850 units have traded hands in Saskatoon this year. 

The average sale price of $350,000 is virtually unchanged from a year ago. Also, the year-to-date median price is $330,000 which is also comparable to that of last year. Helping to sustain these prices is a notable increase (25 percent) in home sales over $600,000 offsetting a decline (three percent) in sales below $600,000.

For this year, the total number of sales over $600,000 in Saskatoon is 101 of which 90 were single-family homes. There were 1,765 transactions below $600,000 by the end of June. The number of condominium units sold so far this year was 533, representing a five percent increase over last year. With the mortgage qualification changes implemented last October, some buyers had to shift their purchase decision from single-family to condominium to allow for a reduced purchase price. The total dollar volume for Saskatoon and area of $846 million is the lowest year-to-date total since June of 2011. The highest dollar volume reached for the midpoint of the year was in 2014 when volume had reached $1.1 billion.

Much has been said about the number of homes available in Saskatoon. Currently, there are over 2,100 active listings in the city. This number of homes would take just over five months to liquidate at the current rate of sales. This number of actively listed properties also means that we are still firmly in a buyer’s market. Just 41 percent of listed homes are selling compared to the five-year average of 50 percent. In the overheated market of 2007, there were only 375 active listings and a sales to listing ratio of an incredible 79 percent. This was at a time when Saskatoon’s population was around 210,000 residents meaning we had one active listing for every 560 residents. In 2012, we had 1,254 active listings. With a population of 239,420, there was one active listing for every 190 residents. Today, as Saskatoon’s current population is 268,158 we have one active listing for every 125 people.

On average, it takes 45 days to sell a home in Saskatoon. This is the lowest days on market average for any month in 2017. “Average days on market can be misleading as well,” cautions Jason Yochim, CEO of the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS®. “If homes are properly priced in any price range and in any market condition, they can easily see an offer in much less time.” The key is to get sound advice on the current market for each specific home. “Our REALTOR® members are market experts who are objective and can guide a seller in this critical decision,” he adds.

The market surrounding Saskatoon had a year-to-date decline in sales of 11 percent with a total of 456 transactions. Active listings in this market at the end of June were 1,112 which is a four percent decline from last year. 

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

Record number of Saskatoon homes for sale creates competitive market for sellers: SRAR

The Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® (SRAR) recently released the residential MLS® sales statistics for May of 2017. The text below comes from that release. We added the charts to provide some pretty visuals and some historical data that is not present in the SRAR releases.

Home sellers need to put forward their best efforts when pricing and presenting their home for sale in any market but especially now with a total of 2,112 active listings available in Saskatoon. This is a record number of homes for sale eclipsing the peak of 2,081 in June of 2015. “Pricing is the most important decision a seller can make, especially in a buyer’s market,” advises Jason Yochim, CEO of the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS®. 

Of those properties listed for sale, just under 1,300 are single-family homes and about 850 are condominiums, with close to 500 of them being apartment style. Additionally, 350 of the apartment style condominiums are priced between $150,000-350,000 making this a very competitive segment of the market. With 848 single family homes priced between $250,000-500,000, there is a lot of choice for buyers who are being selective on what they want and what they are willing to pay. Homes priced over $500,000 total 278 with 76 of priced above $750,000. The MLS® system saw 1,035 new listings for Saskatoon in May, a seven percent increase over last May, and the highest number of new listings ever recorded in a single month.

In May, there were 423 sales in Saskatoon representing a seven percent increase compared to last May. So far, year-to-date, the total number of sales is down two percent to 1,459 units. The price range of $250,000-500,000 showed positive increases to the number of sales year-over-year. In May of 2017, there were 358 sales in this range compared to 329 last May. There was a 13 percent decrease in the number of sales priced between $500-750,000 in May of 2017. Year-to-date, there were 12 sales in excess of $1,000,000 in Saskatoon. Six of these sales were single-family homes, two were bare land condo units at the Willows and one was a downtown apartment unit. The highest selling price for a Saskatoon home this year was $2,000,000.

The average number of days required to sell a home in Saskatoon is 48. The five-year average for days on the market in May is about 41. Based on the number of sales that occurred in May and the number of homes available on the market, it would take five months to liquidate the current inventory of properties for sale. The average selling price continues to remain stable at $349,000. The median sale price also remains relatively unchanged year-to-date at $329,250. Although the total MLS® dollar volume was up 11.5 percent when comparing this May to last, dollar volume is down 1.3 percent to $670,000,000.

The market surrounding Saskatoon showed an increase in sales of 10.4 percent in May, however year-to-date sales in that market were down eight percent. The average selling price for this area is up seven percent this year to $331,450. This market includes the cities of Warman and Martensville as well as other surrounding communities and acreage property.

Jason Yochim, CEO, Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS®.

Positive Indicators in Saskatoon Home Market in February, 2017: SRAR

The Saskatoon home market is showing positive signs in a few of the key areas. “There are a few key statistics that we watch ever month to get a sense of where our market is at and where it may be headed,” says Jason Yochim, CEO of the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® .“We keep a close eye on the number of transactions, the inventory levels and the change in pricing,” he adds. 


In February, there were 229 residential sales recorded, up marginally from 226 for the same month in 2016.  Year-to-date, Saskatoon home sales are up four percent compared to the same period in 2016 with 558 unit sales. This is comparable to the number of home sales in 2015. The total dollar volume of those sales was just over $186 million, representing a two percent increase over last year. 

 

 

Saskatoon residential sales through the MLS® for the month of February, 2017

 

Saskatoon single-family home sales through the MLS® for the month of February, 2017

 

Saskatoon condominium sales through the MLS® for the month of February, 2017

 


At the end of February, the inventory of available residential properties on the MLS® system in Saskatoon was 1,659 units, 5.4 percent lower than it was at the same time last year. The lower inventory levels are largely due to a significant drop in the number of new listings added to the MLS® system. So far this year, there have been 1,337 new listings added to the system compared to 1,410 last year. When comparing new listings for the last month, there were 15.7 percent fewer properties added to the market this February than there were last February.


Active residential listings on the Saskatoon MLS® at the close of February, 2017


New Saskatoon real estate listings processed by the Saskatoon MLS® in February, 2017



A decline in new listings coupled with an increase in sales resulted in a sales-to-listing ratio (new listings/sales) of 37.4 percent in February. This is a significant improvement from last February when this ratio was 30.9 percent. A market with a sales-to-listing ratio below 40 percent is considered to be a solid buyers market but this indicates a positive move towards a more balanced market. “Although we are seeing these positive indicators quite early on, these statistics indicate a shift in the marketplace in a positive direction,” comments Yochim. 

Home prices remain relatively unchanged year-to-date with the average price down a mere 0.7 percent to just under $340,000. The median price of $320,000 represents a slight drop of 1.6 percent, year-over-year. The Home Price Index (HPI) is considered to be the most accurate measure of home values and where the market prices are trending. The HPI composite price is an aggregate of various residential home types in a particular market and is a measurement of change in value over time. A composite value was established with a base year and has been indexed on a monthly basis. The composite value in February was $297,900 representing a 1.2 percent decrease from a year ago. This value had been on a downward trend since mid-2016, which is not surprising considering elevated inventory levels through the year and a buyer’s market.



Average price of a Saskatoon home for February, 2017


MLS Home Price Index - Benchmark values for Saskatoon single-family homes in February, 2017


MLS Home Price Index - Benchmark values for Saskatoon townhouses in February, 2017


MLS Home Price Index - Benchmark values for Saskatoon apartments in February, 2017



The average number of days for a home to sell in Saskatoon was 54. This is only slightly longer than in February 2016 when the average was 52 days. Homes are selling at 97 percent of their asking price, which is consistent with last year. 

“The best advice I can give a seller in any market is to get professional advice when dealing with your largest asset,” adds Yochim. 

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