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 homes sales rebound in November 2017 for year-over-year gains: 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 November 2017 follows.

Saskatoon home sales were up seven percent for the month compared to November of 2016 with a total of 257 residential sales. This increase could be attributed to ideal conditions for home buyers combined with impending mortgage rule changes slated for January that will affect conventional borrowers.

Year-to-date sales, however, show a six percent decline with 3,287 Saskatoon transactions. Homes that sold between $300,000 and $500,000, made up 1,606 of the year-to-date sales, or roughly half of the residential sales. Although homes in this price range are the most active segment of the marketplace, activity in this range has declined by nearly 12 percent compared to the first eleven months of 2016. Sales activity for homes that sold between $750,000 and $1,000,000 remained unchanged compared to last year with a total of 45 units trading. Homes that sold in excess of $1,000,000 were slightly lower with 14 sales compared to 16 last year.

The number of active residential listings that were on the market within the city of Saskatoon was 1,826, eight percent higher than last year. The number of new listings added to the market in November was 583 compared to 652 in the same month last year. The sales-to-listing ratio compares the number of sales for the month, relative to the number of new listings. The sales-to-listing ratio for Saskatoon in November was 44.4 percent.

In November, it took an average of 58 days for a home to sell in Saskatoon. “If you are looking for a home, this is an ideal time with plenty of selection in most price ranges and areas as well as low-interest rates,” comments Jason Yochim, CEO of the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS®, “As for sellers who need to sell, they must have a true sense of the market and price accordingly to sell within the average number of days”, he adds.

The average price of a Saskatoon home continued to decline and slipped to $340,398 from $349,015 a year ago. The MLS® Composite Home Price Index (HPI) Benchmark Price continued to fall for the third consecutive month, now down by four percent, year-over-year. The Composite HPI measures the rate of change in a benchmark price for a typical home and is the most accurate indicator of pricing direction in a market.

Home sales in areas surrounding Saskatoon showed a significant bump in activity with 71 transactions, a 22 percent increase from November of 2016. Of these sales, 34 occurred in the cities of Martensville and Warman in November, compared to 26 last November. Inventory levels also continue to be elevated in these areas where there were 926 available properties for sale at the end of November.

For further information, please contact:
Jason Yochim CAE, CRAE
Chief Executive Officer
Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS®

High inventory, softer demand and weaker prices provide ideal conditions for buyers in October 2017: SRAR

I apologize for the delay in posting the October 2017 MLS® sales and listing stats for Saskatoon. The House Price Index (HPI) numbers needed some work following an August upgrade to the MLS® system and I was not comfortable moving forward before that was completed.

A media release from the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® with an overview of residential MLS® sales and listing activity for the month of October 2017 follows. I have edited the original release for grammar, and to include the updated HPI numbers to the corrected stats, which show a year-over-year decline, as opposed to an increase that was originally reported with this release.

Conditions remain ideal for those in search of a home in Saskatoon with 1,967 city listings on the market at the end of October, plus an additional 1,022 residential properties in the regions outside of Saskatoon. This is an increase of almost 12 percent compared to the same time last year. With upcoming mortgage rule changes being introduced in the new year, relatively low interest rates and more available homes, this is an ideal time for buyers to tie up that purchase. 

The sales-to-listing ratio for Saskatoon was just over 40 percent in October. This means that for every ten homes listed for sale, four were successfully sold. The number of Saskatoon sales for October was 287 units. Although this was an eight percent decline compared to October 2016, it represented an increase of ten percent over September’s sales of 262. Year-to-date, by the close of October sales for Saskatoon were at 3,030 units, a 6.7 percent decrease from the same period last year. A total of 8,069 homes have been placed on the market this year in Saskatoon, down slightly from 8,217 by this time last year. 

“I expect that there may be a slight spike in sales as the year winds down,” comments Jason Yochim, CEO of the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS®. “This would be due to recently introduced mortgage qualification rules for conventional buyers plus some recent upward pressure on interest rates.” The federal government continues to address issues with overheated markets in Canada’s two largest cities. These rule changes, however, affect local real estate markets much differently. 

The average days on market for a home in Saskatoon was 54, which is unchanged from September and slightly higher compared to October of 2016 when it took 50 days. Not surprising, with higher inventory levels and declines in sales the average selling price for a home in Saskatoon continues to fall, with a year-over-year decline of 3.2 percent. It is now at $331,889. The median price, however, remained unchanged at $330,000. The MLS® Composite Home Price Index (HPI) Benchmark Price fell by just over four percent annually to $299,900. The Composite HPI measures the rate of change in a benchmark price for a typical home and is the most accurate indicator of pricing direction in a market.

For further information, please contact:

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

Saskatoon home sales fall significantly in September 2017: SRAR

I apologize for the delay in posting the September MLS® sales and listing stats for Saskatoon. The House Price Index (HPI) numbers needed some work following an August upgrade to the MLS® system and I was not comfortable moving forward before that was completed.

A media release from the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® with an overview of residential MLS® sales and listing activity for the month of September 2017 follows. I have edited the original release for grammar, and to include the updated HPI numbers to the corrected stats, which show a year-over-year decline, as opposed to an increase that was originally reported with this release. Please do note that I have also already added the October 2017 stats to the charts.

The Saskatoon real estate market saw a 19 percent decline in MLS® home sales in September compared to the same month a year ago. MLS® sale for September of 2016 totaled 324, compared to just 262 in 2017. Year-to-date, there have been 2,745 MLS® sales within the city of Saskatoon, an annual drop of six percent from 2016 when 2,935 homes had traded by this time. Overall, the number of sale transactions recorded by the association in Saskatoon and surrounding areas was 3,701 at the end of September compared to 3,957 by the same date in 2016. This marks a ten percent decline in dollar volume, a drop of roughly $140 million dollars.

The number of properties for sale declined by around 100 units from August to September with a total of 2,082 now on the market. The five year average for active listings is 1,797 units.

“Ideally it would be nice to see the number of active listings around that five-year average or lower,” comments Jason Yochim, CEO of the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS®. “That level would bring us closer to balanced market conditions.” By comparison, in 2007 when the market was a strong seller’s market with escalating home prices, there was an average of just over 400 active listings through the year. Ten years later that average is just under 2000 active listings.

The average length of time for a home to sell is 55 days, just slightly above the September five year average, which is 46 days. The sales-to-listing ratio is a comparison of the number of sales for the month relative to the number of new listings taken. It is considered to be a balanced market when this ratio falls between 40-60 percent. A number above this range is considered a seller’s market while a one below is seen as a buyer’s market. The sales-to-listing ratio for September was 34 percent, well below the five year average of 42 percent. “In a buyer’s market with elevated inventory levels it is critical to understand pricing and to properly prepare your home to compete against other homes in your price range,” cautions Yochim. 

This year, the average selling price of a Saskatoon home fell by 1.4 percent to $347,043. The median price also declined slightly by 2.1 percent to $327,900. In July of this year, the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® elected to remove lot sales from the aggregate number of home sales to give a more accurate picture of pricing, however, in the short-term this change has propped up the average price to some degree in comparison to last year. The MLS® Composite Home Price Index (HPI) Benchmark Price fell lower to $301,800, down 4.3 percent from a year ago when it was $315,400. The Composite HPI measures the rate of change in a benchmark price for a typical home and is the most accurate indicator of pricing direction in a market. 

For further information, please contact:

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

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®