Saskatoon records continued growth in home prices in Q1, 2014: Royal LePage

hps_featureThe Royal LePage House Price Survey released today showed steady but restrained growth in prices across all housing types surveyed in Saskatoon in the first quarter.

Detached bungalow prices continued to rise year-over-year, increasing by 3.2 per cent to $363,750.  Standard two-storey homes also continued to appreciate, rising by 2.5 per cent to $393,500.  Standard condominiums witnessed the smallest increase, but still rose by 1.4 per cent to rest at $265,000.

“An increase in new housing inventory has allowed supply to start to catch up to the strong demand we’ve seen over the past few years,” said Norm Fisher, Broker, Royal LePage Saskatoon. “The rapid price appreciation we have become accustomed to is starting to level off, but there is still not enough supply in key market segments to completely stem the price growth.”

According to Fisher, inventory levels have gone up this quarter, especially in the condo category. However, he doesn’t expect the increased inventory to have a dampening effect on house prices because of the strong local economy and continued low interest rates.

“Interestingly, the overall number of homes changing hands has stayed relatively steady compared to this quarter last year, but the type of homes that buyers are purchasing is different. Sales of detached bungalows and condos are actually lower than last year, while sales of standard two-storey homes have increased,” added Fisher.  “The robust demand for two-storey homes positions homeowners with these properties to sell quickly and on good terms.”

Fisher suggested that in the current market new builds are more affordable than the resale category because of a supply imbalance. “Because there are fewer homes available, sellers of previously owned homes have good clout and are able to turnover their homes quite quickly.”

Nationally, most regions showed healthy year-over-year price growth, with the average price of a home in Canada rising between 2.5 per cent and 5.4 per cent. In the first quarter, the average price of a two-storey home increased 5.4 per cent to $428,943, while detached bungalows rose 4.4 per cent year-over-year to $380,765. Standard condominiums posted slightly lower gains of 2.5 per cent to $252,174.

“With the slightest trace of a weather recovery in most parts of the country, we are now finally seeing the arrival of housing inventory. This, combined with pent-up demand following a particularly long and harsh winter is setting the stage for an exceptionally robust spring 2014 market,” said Phil Soper, President, Royal LePage. “This is good news for buyers, as the price spikes we have seen in a number of cities will be alleviated by this additional supply.”

“With a number of supportive economic factors in place, the country’s healthy real estate market continues to display its strength,” added Soper. “The federal government is heading towards a balanced budget for the first time in over six years, while all signs point to a continued low interest rate environment. Moreover, the strengthening global economy and a weaker Canadian dollar are fueling demand for Canadian exports and reducing dependence on the household sector to sustain our economic success.”

Housing affordability continues to trend sideways in Saskatchewan: RBC

Even though home prices made some small gains, incomes increased faster and Canadians saw a slightly improved picture in housing affordability through the fourth quarter of 2013, according to RBC’s latest Housing Trends and Affordability report. RBC Economics measures housing affordability in and across Canada by studying and reporting on the percentage of income required to pay for housing in various categories.

Closer to home, Saskatchewan home buyers saw a continuation of a “sideways trend” with affordability levels at historical norms as market activity was “quite stable at elevated levels for the second consecutive quarter.”

Right here in Saskatoon, home ownership costs as a percentage of income also remained stable across the three most popular housing types.

Read the entire RBC Housing Trends and Affordability report.

I’m always happy to answer your Saskatoon real estate questions. All of my contact info is here. Please feel free to call of email me.

Get the most current market intelligence with our FREE Market Snapshot including prices of homes recently sold in your area. Get it here, now.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate

Saskatoon area population quickly approaches 300,000: Statistics Canada

Today on our Facebook page, we discuss the Saskatoon region’s rapidly growing population and ask the question, “Is this kind of growth sustainable?” Tell us what you think.

Get the most current market intelligence with our FREE Market Snapshot including prices of homes recently sold in your area. Get it here, now.

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 Saskatoon Real Estate

Saskatoon house prices show modest year-over-year growth in Q4, 2013: Royal LePage

SASKATOON, January 9, 2014 – The Royal LePage House Price Survey and Market Survey Forecast released today showed small year-over-year price increases across major housing types surveyed.

There was mild price appreciation in the major categories surveyed, with detached bungalows increasing 1.0 per cent to $367,250, standard two-storey homes increasing 0.7 per cent to $379,250 and condominiums increasing 1.3 per cent to $264,667.

“Most housing types have been stable over the past year, with relatively modest price appreciation across the board,” said Norm Fisher, broker, Royal LePage Saskatoon. “There are lots of options available in Saskatoon to willing buyers, with a steady supply of new builds to complement the resale market. Despite the bump in supply, demand has been strong enough that the increased inventory hasn’t resulted in a buyer’s market but homebuyers certainly have more clout at the negotiating table than they had over the previous two quarters.”

Fisher added that this year has been very good for residential real estate in Saskatoon. After a slow start to the year there has been sustained growth in the number of homes changing hands. 2013 closes as the second strongest year on record for the number of homes sold in Saskatoon. The fourth quarter, which has traditionally been a slower period, has witnessed a higher than usual number of sales.

Royal LePage is forecasting stable prices with perhaps moderate gains in the most popular housing categories for 2014 as the Saskatoon economy continues to grow.  “Saskatoon is predicted to have one of the best performing economies in 2014,” stated Fisher. “Employment is quite strong, income growth has been better than most provinces and there is an influx of people into the province. These factors combined with low interest rates and relatively high rents point to our residential real estate market remaining strong through 2014.”

“We may see the same volume of houses being bought and sold as in 2013, but the market here is likely to remain very competitive for sellers,” Fisher concluded.

Nationally, in the same quarter, the average price of a home in Canada increased between 1.2 per cent and 3.8 per cent in the fourth quarter, with 2014 home price appreciation predicted to surpass that of 2013.

The survey showed year-over-year average price increases in the fourth quarter of 2013 of 3.6 per cent to $418,282 for standard two-storey homes and 3.8 per cent to $380,710 for detached bungalows, while the average price of a standard condominium rose 1.2 per cent to $246,530. Prices are expected to maintain healthy momentum into 2014, with Royal LePage projecting a 3.7 per cent increase nationally from 2013 and a shift to a seller’s market in the first portion of the year in a number of regions.

“A few short months ago, the country’s housing market emerged from a year-long correctional cycle of dramatically slowed sales volumes. Later 2013 was marked by a transition to buoyant sales volumes and above average price growth,” said Phil Soper, president and chief executive of Royal LePage. “In the absence of some calamitous event or material increase in mortgage financing costs, we expect this positive momentum to characterize 2014. In fact, we expect a market tipped decidedly in favour of sellers for the first half of the year, after which we project a shift to a more balanced market.”

“We predict continued upward pressure on home prices as we move towards the all-important spring market. In addition to normal demand, housing prices in Canada this year will be influenced by buyers who put off purchase plans in the very soft spring of 2013,” continued Soper. “Talk of a ‘soft landing’ for Canada’s real estate market in the new year is misguided.  We expect no landing, no slowdown, and no correction in the near-term. Conditions are ripe for as strong a market as we saw in the post-recessionary rebound of the last decade.”

Saskatoon home prices continue upward trend in Q3, 2013: Royal LePage

The Royal LePage House Price Survey released today showed continued year-over-year growth in prices across housing types surveyed in Saskatoon in the third quarter.

Standard two-storey homes witnessed the largest increase, rising by 7.0 per cent to $399,750. Detached bungalow prices also made solid gains, jumping by 5.2 per cent to $366,250. Standard condominiums remained relatively flat, edging up by 1.1 per cent to $255,000.

“A healthy mix of first-time and move-up buyers has created strong demand for both detached bungalows and standard-two storeys,” said Norm Fisher, broker, Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate. “Houses that are priced properly and well-presented are selling quickly.”

“Rising prices in the detached home market have also had a spill-over effect on the condominium market,” added Fisher. “The standard condominium category has become an attractive entry point for first-time buyers.”

Nationally, the average price of a home in Canada increased between 1.2 per cent and 4.1 per cent in the third quarter of 2013.

The survey showed a year-over-year average price increase of 3.7 per cent to $418,686 for standard two-storey homes, while detached bungalows rose 4.1 per cent to $381,811. During the same period, the average price for standard condominiums saw a more moderate increase, rising 1.2 per cent to $246,530. Sales volumes surged in a number of regions, as Canadians re-entered the housing market after sitting on the sidelines for more than a year – marking the end of the most significant housing market correction since the 2008-2009 global recession.

“Canada experienced a significant housing market correction over the last four quarters that most in the nation missed entirely,” said Phil Soper, president and chief executive of Royal LePage.  “Many regions experienced dramatic slowdowns in the number of homes trading hands, but news of double-digit unit sales declines went largely unnoticed, over-shadowed by a macabre fascination with the prospect of a U.S.-style home price collapse, which of course never transpired. Our over-heated real estate market of 2011 and early 2012 drove some to the sidelines. Home price appreciation ground to a halt for a year – a necessary breather and predictable market response.”

“Our housing market turned a corner in the third quarter. Buyers returned to the streets in droves, resulting in a sharp increase in home sales.  In many cities, there simply weren’t enough properties on the market to satisfy demand, which put upward pressure on prices for the first time in 2013,” continued Soper. “We expect this positive momentum to continue through the all-important spring market of 2014, buoyed by a combination of pent-up demand, increasing consumer confidence and continued low interest rates.”

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 me.

Get the most current market intelligence with our FREE Market Snapshot including prices of homes recently sold in your area. Get it here, now.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Saskatoon Real Estate