Single-family detached home (houses) sales pushed higher on a month-over-month basis reaching 152 units, a gain of thirty-seven sales compared to the previous month, and topping last year’s rather lackluster performance by just five units. To nobody’s surprise, active listings also grew over the course of the month. Through February, Saskatoon house inventory had grown by eighty-three units to finish at 469, well below the 761 houses available at the same time last year. In spite of inventory growth, increased unit sales caused the “total months” of available inventory to drop to 3.1, down from 3.4 at the close of January.
Stronger demand and less selection added up to a swing in favour of local sellers as houses recorded gains which were frankly, stronger than I had anticipated. The average selling price of a Saskatoon house came in five percent higher than the previous month at $315,000, still a fair bit off of the peak, but higher than the same month last year when houses brought an average of $305,130. The median soared to $312,500 to record a gain of nearly thirty thousand dollars compared to January and thirty-three thousand dollars higher than February 2009. The three-month average selling price grew by six thousand dollars in a month to record a gain of twenty-two thousand dollars over the same month last year.
The average price per square foot paid for a Saskatoon house also grew, though not as sharply as the other measures. Saskatoon home buyers paid $255 per foot in February, up seven dollars from the month before, and just three dollars more than the average in February 2009.
Sales of Saskatoon condominiums showed greater strength through February as seventy-one firm sales were reported to the multiple listing service, up from fifty-eight the month before and eighteen more than the same month in 2009. Inventory grew by fifty-three properties over the month to 305, twenty-five percent lower than the 412 units that were available a year ago. The increase in both supply and demand pretty much balanced out and total supply of available inventory remained steady at 4.3 months.
Even though the inventory situation was far more stable for condos than houses, prices headed towards record territory as the average selling price of a Saskatoon condo spiked nearly thirty-three thousand dollars on the month to gain more than twenty thousand dollars year-over-year. The median price moved about the same amount to close the month at $245,000 and gaining about nineteen thousand dollars over February 2009. The three-month average was far less spectacular with gains of just fifteen hundred dollars for the month and growth of three thousand dollars compared to the same month last year.
The average price paid per square foot for a Saskatoon condominium was also higher than last month by nine dollars reaching $236 for a gain of thirteen dollars from the previous February.
In a nutshell, unit sales are weaker than expected given the pending mortgage rule changes that take effect on April 19. Saskatoon real estate prices, especially condos are showing more strength than I had anticipated. Considering that most people wouldn’t touch a condo with a ten foot pole at this time last year it’s a mystery to me how we could be talking about year-over-year gains of nearly nine percent today.
Remember, averages and cost per square foot numbers can provide some useful insights into pricing trends but they’re not as useful when engaging in an actual transaction. If you’re buying or selling you should be seeking current information on active listings and recent sales, which are most comparable to your property in terms of location, size, features and amenities.
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.
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