The Saskatoon Region Association of Realtors recently reported February results for the entire residential category of Saskatoon real estate, which includes single-family homes, condominiums, semi-detached properties, duplexes, mobile homes and vacant lots. Unit sales totaled 211 properties across all of these property types, and an average sale price of $281,681. Let’s have a look at how houses (single-family detached homes) and condominiums did in comparison to the entire residential category.
After leveling off in January, active listing inventories took an upward turn through the month as February. The stock of available single-family homes (detached houses) grew to 761 units by month’s end, up about 10 percent from January, and sharply higher compared to February 2008 when a dismal 204 Saskatoon houses were offered for sale. Condo inventory took a similar turn growing to 412 units, up from 363 last month. At the close of February last year just 127 condominiums were available on the Saskatoon MLS system.
Following a remarkably strong month for single-family home sales in January, unit sales weakened some in February sliding to 147 units, down from 164 the month before, and off 45 units (-25%) compared to the same month last year. Condominium sales showed an increase of thirteen units over the previous month, but fell substantially on a year-over-year basis to just 53 units, down from 147 units (-64%) during the same month last year.
In spite of weaker sales volumes, single-family homes saw a month-over-month price bounce using all four value measures during the month of February. The average sale price for the month was sharply higher for the second consecutive month rising from $293,073 in January to $305,130 in February but gained just $1,500 compared to the same month last year. The median sale price inched up to $280,000 from $277,450 the month before, but lost some ground over February of 2008 when it reached $287,000. The three-month average increased $1,500 over the previous month, and finished roughly $4,000 ahead of last February’s number of $288,677.
The average price per square foot that buyers paid for single-homes also edged up but the gain over the previous month was smaller (2.5%) than the gain in the average sale price (4%). The cost per square foot increased just one-dollar in area one, compared to 8-dollars in area two, while it fell in areas three through five. Heavier volume on Saskatoon’s east side was enough to push the city wide average to $252 per square foot, up six-dollars from the previous month, and down just one-dollar compared to the same month last year.
Given that the demand for Saskatoon condos was off by 64% on a year-over-year basis you may have expected that prices would have taken a serious hit. Instead, they actually appear to have experienced some real gains on a month-over-month basis. The average sale price increased nearly $6,000 from $220,408 to $226,148, and finished nearly $16,000 higher compared to February of 2008 when the average price of a condo was just $209,507. I will point out that the average size of the condos that sold was also substantially higher at 1,014 square feet this year, compared to just 865 square feet last year. That is distorting the year-over-year numbers. The median price slid to $212,500 from $219,500 the month before, but again, it finished sharply higher than the $192,900 median recorded in February of last year. Note that last year the median price experienced one of those more extreme movements on the graph, due mostly to the size of the homes that sold.
Average price per square foot numbers probably paint a slightly more accurate picture of Saskatoon condo prices. Again, they saw a rather impressive bump from $213 in January to $223 in February, but finished down on a year-over-year basis falling twenty-one dollars from $242 last year. Areas two and three saw large gains while area one remained stable. Area four failed to record a single condo sale for the eighth consecutive month. I’m predicting a fairly serious dip in the purple line on that graph if we ever do sell another. ☺
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Norm Fisher Royal LePage Vidorra