Single-family detached home sales pushed slightly higher on a month-over-month basis reaching 251 units, a gain of just seventeen sales compared to last month. Typically, we expect to see a larger ramping up of sales as we move into April but that bump is absent this year. Still, April single-family home sales did exceed those recorded during the same month last yearwhen just 235 houses changed hands.
The inventory of active house listings continued to pick up some steam moving higher by 118 listings over the course of the month to reach 722. That’s still 125 units fewer than were available at this time last year but the large gap that has existing in year-over-year active listing inventory numbers is narrowing. From a “months of supply” perspective, the inventory of single-family homes grew by 0.3 months in April but remained just below three-months, a reasonable balance of inventory. Some supply issues remain for buyers of houses priced under $350,000 where the supply falls to less than two months creating ideal conditions for sellers.
Average house prices headed for higher ground in April moving nearly nineteen thousand dollars from the previous month to finish at $329,871. That represents a gain of nearly ten percent when compared with April of 2009 when the average selling price of a house in Saskatoon was $300,900 but it doesn’t tell the whole story. Sales of houses priced above $500,000 were sharply higher last month when comparing their performance against the first quarter of the year, and more than double what they were in April of last year. This past month saw twenty house sales above that mark, compared to nine during the same period last year, and just twenty-two for the entire first quarter of 2010. When the $500,000 and higher price category doubles its share of sales you naturally get this upward push even if prices had stayed relatively stable.
Saskatoon condominium sales showed similar struggles getting into the spring groove posting sale numbers that were lower month-over-month, and year-over-year. Saskatoon real estate agents reported just 104 firm condominium sales, seven fewer than we saw in March and down by six compared to April of last year. Given the heat in the condo market through the first quarter of the year, we probably shouldn’t be surprised. As of April 30, 343 condos had already been sold for the year, a gain of seventy-five over the same period last year.
Condominium inventory came on pretty strong growing by nearly twenty-five percent over the month to finish at 444 homes, not far below the 475 condos available at the same time in 2009. Weaker sales and lots of new listings caused a significant jump in the overall supply as total “months of inventory” swelled to 4.3 picking up a gain of over a month. The line on our condo listings graph appears to have some upward momentum and I’ll be surprised if we don’t start seeing numbers in this category exceed those of 2009 in the near future.
Condo prices moved in the same direction as houses posting gains on the month and the year. The average price of a Saskatoon condo came in at $230,394, up nearly nine thousand dollars from the previous month and roughly eleven thousand dollars higher than April 2009. Sales of condos above the $300,000 mark came in at the expected range with 17 units sold, just a few more than what traded in the same month last year so we’re not seeing the upward skewing of prices that occurred with single-family homes.
In summary, there does appear to be a softening of demand occurring in the Saskatoon real estate market. Typically, unit sales peak in May and then begin a slow descent through the balance of the year. The inventory of listings saw some pretty aggressive growth over the last week of March and the first three weeks of April, but since then there has been a noticeable softening in the overall numbers and it looks like active listings could also reach their peak in May as they did last year.
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Royal LePage Vidorra