Year-over-year, residential unit sales for the city of Saskatoon saw a seven percent decline in 2016. As at December 31, there was a total of 3,679 transactions recorded for the year versus 3,933 in 2015. The total dollar volume for Saskatoon also showed a seven percent decline by year-end.
There was also a decline in the number of new listings for 2016 of five percent with 9,290 properties placed on the MLS® system in Saskatoon last year. In other words, 38 percent of the homes that were listed ended up selling which is considered a firm buyer's market. This ratio is what is referred to as a sales-to-listing ratio. A 'balanced market' is when one home sells for every two listed for a 50 percent sales-to-listing ratio. The market for the month of December was in more balanced territory with 191 sales and 392 new listings.
The market surrounding Saskatoon which includes the cities of Martensville and Warman saw an annual decline in unit sales of 11 percent with a total of 1,010 sales by December 31. The number of new listings for 2016 in the markets outside of Saskatoon was 3,192 for a sales-to-listing ratio of just under 32 percent. The city of Martensville saw a ten percent increase in unit sales in 2016 while Warman saw a whopping 35 percent decrease in unit sales. Other bedroom communities surrounding Saskatoon saw very little change in units sold year-over-year. A home in Saskatoon took an average of 51 days to sell realizing 96.7 percent of the asking price on average.
"There are buyers out there who are ready to act and are willing to pay market value," comments Jason Yochim, CEO, Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS®. "What this tells me is that if a seller is serious about selling their home the best thing they can do is get sound advice on pricing to the current market we are in. The result is a quicker sale for the maximum sale price. Buyers are well educated and not often fooled into overpaying," he adds. The average selling price for a home in Saskatoon in 2016 was just over $350,000 which was only a decline of one percent compared to the average selling price of $354,000 in 2015. This average price was maintained by a year-over-year increase in the number of homes that sold over $750,000.
The MLS® Home Price Index® is considered to be the most accurate determinant of where a real estate market is trending. The composite benchmark value is an aggregate value of various property types and is used to compare changes in market values and trends. The composite benchmark value has been trending downward slightly since August of 2016. The composite value of $299,700 is down 1.6 percent from the same time in 2015 and looks to continue downward for the near future.
"2017 is not likely to see a significant change in market conditions, however being properly informed on what those market conditions are and how to properly price is where one of our REALTOR® members is invaluable”, says Yochim. "One of the best ways to stimulate an economy is through a home sale. The average home sale in Saskatchewan generates nearly $50,000 in spin-off economic activity. Multiply that by 3,700 transactions," he adds.
Jason Yochim CAE, CRAE Chief Executive Officer - Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS®