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

The Saskatoon Region Association of Realtors recently reported March 2010 results for the entire residential categoryof Saskatoon real estate including single-family homes, condominiums, semi-detached properties, duplexes, mobile homes and vacant lots. Unit sales totaled 361 properties across all of these property types, at an average selling price of $282,615. Let’s have a look at how single-family detached homes (houses) and condominiums did in comparison to the entire residential category.

As one would expect at this time of year, single-family detached home sales pushed higher on a month-over-month basis reaching 234 units, a gain of eighty-two sales compared to last month and handily beat the 193 sales that occurred in this category last March.

The inventory of active house listings also saw substantial growth as it picked up an additional 134 units over the month to finish at 603, about thirty percent lower than it was at this time last year when 867 detached houses displayed a for sale sign. Increased demand trumped a greater number of listings causing the total “months of available inventory” to shrink by one half of a month to just 2.6 months, a clear seller’s market. Interestingly, that seller’s market is fairly clear to about the $400,000 mark where the tide turns quickly and aggressively to a buyer’s market with a supply of homes greater than seven months.

Surprisingly, house prices softened some and I expect that it was largely the type of homes that traded that made the difference. The average size of the homes that sold in March was smaller by about eighty square feet compared to those that sold the month before. The average price for March was $311,060; about four thousand dollars lower than February’s figure, but up roughly twenty-four thousand dollars from the same month last year. The median sale price also moved lower from the month before falling $7,500 to $305,000 to beat last year’s number of $275,000 by more than ten percent. The three-month average dropped five thousand dollars month-to-month to $309,605 and finished ahead of the $293,973 recorded last March.

Saskatoon condominium sales showed continued strength increasing more than fifty percent from the previous month to reach 111 units and recording a huge gain compared to March 2009 when just 66 properties traded.

Active listings also showed growth picking up 52 additional homes over last month to finish at 357, down about one hundred units from the same month last year. Total “months of available inventory” slid hard dropping 1.1 months to a 3.2-month supply. There’s no doubt that condos are once again the hot item as entry-level buyers scramble to enter the market. Inventory is at its lowest in the $200,000 to $250,000 range where just a 2.3 month supply exists. Once again, there’s nothing but selection when you move to the upper end of the market with a near fifteen-month supply of condos priced above $300,000. If you’ve got the budget to be in this price range you’re definitely bringing some clout to the bargaining table.

Condo prices took a downward slide in March thanks to the absence of upper end sales that skewed February’s numbers higher. Last month’s averages included both of the only over $500,000 condos to sell so far this year and that caused a spike that corrected itself this month. The average selling price of a Saskatoon condominium was $221,530; about six thousand dollars higher than it was in March of last year. The median slid twenty thousand from last month to $225,000, roughly ten thousand dollars higher than the same month last year. The three-month average finished lower than the previous month at $226,834 too record a gain of $6,600 compared to the same month last year.

In a nutshell, unit sales are reasonably strong in comparison to last year, but of course, last year was well below average. As noted in our recent post on SRAR’s media release for March, sales are just marginally above the five-year average. Of course, we’re dealing with far less selection than we’ve had over the past couple of springs, particularly in the $250,000-$350,000 range so that product is moving fairly quickly and commanding a strong dollar. As soon as you cross the $400,000 range ($300,000 in condos), price seems to be much more of an issue. Homes that are overpriced, even by small amounts, seem to be met with disinterest and fail to attract offers. In some cases they don’t really see much for showings.

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.

Follow our daily updates on Twitter @norm_fisher.

Norm Fisher
Royal LePage Vidorra

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