A closer look at the Saskatoon real estate statistics for August 2010

The Saskatoon Region Association of Realtors recently reported August 2010 results for the entire residential category of Saskatoon real estate including single-family homes, condominiums, semi-detached properties, duplexes, mobile homes and vacant lots. Unit sales totaled 313 across all of these property types, a decline of roughly twenty percent compared to the previous Augustwhen 392 residential property sales were completed. The average selling price came in at $305,866 last month, a gain of roughly $22,500 (eight percent) when compared to August of 2009. This post will provide a closer look at how single-family detached homes (houses) and condominiums did in comparison to the entire residential category.

House sales continued to decline, slipping 20 units compared to Julyto settle at 204, roughly twenty-four percent behind last August when 268 Saskatoon houses changed hands. After showing a decline in July, active house listings moved higher again in August gaining 40 listings to finish the month at 773. Last year at this time, single-family inventory sat at 651 so the additional 122 properties produce a gain of nearly nineteen percent over last year. The total months of supply of houses grew to 3.8 months, up .5 months from July, and .4 months ahead of where it was last year at this time.

The average selling price of a Saskatoon house surged higher reaching a near record level of $337,614 to mark a gain of more than $18,000 on the month and finish ten percent higher than it was at the close of the same month last year. The median price jumped even more, moving $21,000 compared to July and $30,000 year-over-year. The three-month average selling price gained nearly $5,000 from last month and finished more than $17,000 higher than it was at this time last year.

I wrote a bit in this postabout a skewing of the average numbers that occurred in August because of a significant decline in the number of sales below the $300,000 mark and a small increase in the number of homes that sold in price ranges above $300,000. I believe that at least some of the gains we’ve seen in this month’s average are artificial (not reflective of actual value changes), caused primarily by a change in what types of houses have been selling. The price per square foot (PPSF) numbers seem to support that. The PPSF of a Saskatoon house fell to $242 from $252 last August. Last month’s PPSF is the lowest recorded for any month this year, and well off of the $270-$275 that it has been running at since April. Some of the decline can be explained by the fact that larger homes traded this August (PPSF generally declines as house size increases) but regardless of how you chose to view things, it would be difficult to make a strong argument that prices are actually up ten percent when the PPSF is down by nearly as much. It simply doesn’t add up.

Saskatoon condo sales also took a slide falling to 95 units from 113 the month before, and 112 in August of last year. As demand softened, the supply of active condominium listing available through the multiple listing service edged up 26 units to finish the month at 489, roughly twenty-four percent higher than it was at the same time last year when condo inventory had fallen to 381. The total months of supply based on recent sales took a huge leap gaining a whole month compared to July and 1.7 months compared with the close of August 2009. It currently sits at 5.1 months, its highest point since March of 2009when it reached 7 months.

Following a five percent slide in the average selling price of a Saskatoon condo through July, prices bounced back a bit as the average gained nearly $2,500 over the previous month to close August at $241,440 and record a year-over-year gain of about $9,500. The median price climbed $11,000 over the month to hit $234,000 and finish $9,000 higher than it was at this time last year. The three-month average remained solid at $244,236, up $22,000 from the close of August 2009.

Average and median prices for Saskatoon condos sold in August 2010

The average PPSF paid for a Saskatoon condo grew by just two dollars over the month to finish August at $235 and record a gain of about seven percent compared to this time last year when it was at $219. The gain is somewhat smaller than we see in the three-month average selling price, which has grown by ten percent in the same period. Unlike single-family homes, which saw a substantial change in the size of the product that traded, the average size of the condos that sold in August were pretty comparable to last year at 1,025 square feet.

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 Vidorra


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