Saskatoon real estate week in review: April 24-30, 2016

Saskatoon real estate agents saw another spring-like week with firm sales of residential properties hitting 102, up just one from the previous week for an annual increase of seven home sales. As the month of April came to a close, total residential sales came in at 382, down from 397 last year. New MLS® listings moved higher as they increased to 220 units, up from 202 last week for a year-over-year increase of 20 units.

As is the case at a typical month end, a slew of active listings came to the end of their listing term without a sale this week and expired from the system. The total number of active MLS® listings in the residential category slid lower by 37 units compared to last week’s close to settle at 1925 for an annual increase of just 20 homes, the smallest year-over-year gain to the inventory in almost three years. It will be interesting to watch active listings over the next few weeks. Will we see our first year-over-year inventory decline soon? Stay tuned. The number of options that buyers could find in the single-family home category is now at 1026, down from 1052 at this time a year ago. Condo inventory is at 732 units today, up from 647 a year ago.

A lot more activity at the market’s entry level brought the median sale price and the average sale price of a Saskatoon home lower this week to $308,000 and $337,655 respectively. The six-week average price slipped about seven thousand dollars this week to settle at $341,456 recording an annual decrease of about 5K. The four-week median price fell a bit more coming in at $331,000 for a weekly decline of nine grand, and a year-over year drop of six thousand dollars.

Sellers found a bit of love this week as 18 buyers made a full price offer to firm up their deal. Another five bid even more than asking price to pay their seller a bonus averaging $1,980. Meanwhile, 79 sales closed below the asking price netting the buyer an average discount of $11,882.

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


Saskatoon real estate week in review: April 17-23, 2016

Saskatoon real estate sales gained some ground this week as the multiple listing service® saw residential sales hit the three-figure mark for the first time this year to record its strongest sales week since late July of last year. Local agents closed 101 transactions, up from 82 last week to fall just slightly short of numbers recorded over the same week a year ago when 104 Saskatoon homes traded hands.

The number of new listings offered up for sale on the multiple listing service® this weekslipped lower to 202 properties, for a weekly decline of 18 homes and an annual drop of 12.

Strong sales and weaker listing activity couldn’t stop the total inventory of residential MLS® listings from climbing higher. Total residential listings grew by 17 this week to 1962 and finished up on levels recorded a year ago by 61 homes, an annual increase of three percent. We start the new week with 1024 single-family homes showing a “for sale” status on the system, which is down 3.5 percent from where it stood a year ago when 1062 detached dwellings were available to buyers. On the other hand, condo inventory climbed nearly 21 percent on an annual basis as the total number of units available to buyers climbed from 641 at this time last year to 774 today.

Both the weekly average and the weekly median price of a Saskatoon home slipped lower this week to $349,508 and $325,000 respectively as significantly more action in entry level housing skewed the numbers downward. The six-week average price inched down to $348,719 for a weekly loss of under one thousand dollars to claim an annual increase of about 5K. Meanwhile, the four-week median price took its fourth consecutive weekly increase to find itself back at its peak for the calendar year at $340,000. That’s up $2,500 from last week for an annual increase of the same amount.

Overbid activity came in slightly lower this week as just three sellers signed a deal above their asking price but the average overbid was strong at $15,030. On the flip side of the negotiating table, 92 of this week’s sales netted the buyer a discount that averaged $12,092. The remaining five sales closed at the full asking price.

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


The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), released national sales statistics for the month of March, 2016this week. According to the CREA, “The number of homes trading hands via Canadian MLS® Systems rose by 1.5 percent month-over-month to set a new all-time record in March 2016. Though sales edged lower in Greater Vancouver (-0.3%) and the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) (-1.8% m-m), both remain near record highs reached the month before."

Sales in March were up from the previous month in about 60 percent of all local markets, including Victoria, Chilliwack, the Okanagan Region, Edmonton, Calgary, Woodstock- Ingersoll, Kingston, Barrie and Montreal.”

Highlights of CREA's report    

      • National home sales rose by 1.5% from February to March.
      • Actual (not seasonally adjusted) activity was up 12.2% compared to March 2015.
      • The number of newly listed homes fell by 1.4% from February to March.
      • The MLS® Home Price Index (HPI) rose 9.1% year-over-year in March.
      • The national average sale price rose 15.7% on a year-over-year basis in March (net of Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto, it climbed by 10.4 percent year-over-year).

Read the entire report on Canadian MLS® sales for March, 2016.

See also: CREA's forecast for 2016

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


Here's a bit of the media coverage the resulted from the recent release of Royal LePage's House Price Survey for the first quarter of 2016.

Read also, from the Star Phoenix: New inventory causes condo market to soften: Royal LePage

I would like to point out that the data from this report comes from Brookfield Real Estate Service's database which is generated from appraisals completed in the area, and not from the MLS® where we typically get our data from.

This study shows apartment condos being down 10.1 percent from the first quarter of last year, which is pretty much in-line with the change to the average MLS® selling price of an apartment, which fell 9.3 percent year-over-year. However, the MLS® Home Price Index which is intended to track values of very specific housing types (apples to apples comparision) shows just a 6.7 percent year-over-year decline in this category.

While town houses are most often "condos" by definition, the MLS® Home price Index shows that they have faired quite well over the past year in comparison to apartments.

The Royal LePage study shows two-storey homes in Saskatoon being up 1.5 percent over the first quarter, compared to the same period last year. The MLS® Home Price Index shows a smaller increase of just .32 percent.

The Royal LePage study shows bungalow prices to have grown by 0.7 percent when compared with those trading in the first quarter of last year. The MLS® Home Price Index actually reports a loss of 3.15 percent from a year ago. The MLS Index uses "one-storey" rather than bungalow, so it will include bi-levels as well.

Finally, I'd also point out that Royal LePage's study compares activity over the full first quarter of each year while the MLS® Home Price Index compares prices at the end of the quarter so there are going to be some differences that result from that as well.

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


The Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS® released MLS® statistics for the month of March 2016 this week. This italic text is from the media release that accompanied the stats sheet. The charts our supplements provided by TeamFisher.

Saskatoon continues to hold its own in the face of challenging economic times. Year-to-date, the number of homes that have sold for more than $700,000 has increased by 18 percent for a total of 26 units. This has helped to keep the average sale price for Saskatoon at $344,000 which is only two percent below the average a year ago. By comparison, the median price for a home in Saskatoon was up 1.2 percent.

Overall, unit sales are down six percent year-over-year from 764 units to 715. March saw a slowing in the pace of the number of homes listed for sale helping to slow the growth of the inventory.

At the end of March there were 1,857 properties available for sale in the city of Saskatoon, an increase of six percent over 2015. 

The CREA Composite Home Price Index was down 2.7 percent from last March indicating that there continues to be a very slight decline in housing prices overall.

Homes that are sold by Saskatoon REALTORS® are realizing just over 97 percent of their asking price and are selling in 46 days on average. "Economics tells us that an increase in supply levels will have levelling or declining effect on prices," comments Jason Yochim, CEO of the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS®. "Having said that, there are segments of the market that are performing well provided homes are priced properly," he adds. “This will generate the interest needed to obtain a strong sale price. A REALTOR® not only has the market expertise but is objective and emotionally detached from the transaction."

The sales to listing ratio is determined by dividing the number of sales for the month by the number of newly listed homes. This ratio for March was 38 percent, which is consistent with last year. A ratio lower than 40 percent is considered a buyer’s market.

By comparison, the market surrounding Saskatoon, which includes rural residential property, the cities of Warman and Martensville and other smaller bedroom communities, has experienced a 12 percent decrease in unit sales year-to-date. The number of combined first quarter sales in the cities of Martensville and Warman has been declining steadily over the past three years. In 2014 year-to-date sales were 134 units, 107 units had been sold by this time in 2015, and in 2016 the total number of unit sales by the end of March was 82. The average price for a home in Warman this year is $373,000 compared to $327,000 in Martensville while the median price is $359,450 and $318,759 respectively. In Warman and Martensville the average days to sell was 55 and 59 respectively.

Jason Yochim CAE, CRAE Chief Executive Officer - Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS®

End of release.

Changes to the MLS® Home Price Index in Saskatoon over time

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


New condominium inventory putting downward pressure on prices: Royal LePage

SASKATOON, April 7, 2016 – The aggregate price* of a home in Saskatoon remained relatively flat in the first quarter of 2016, slipping 0.3 percent year-over-year to $373,658, according to the Royal LePage House Price Survey**released today.

When broken out by housing type, the median price of a two-storey home increased 1.5 percent to $464,630 while the median price of a bungalow rose 0.7 percent year-over-year to $366,113.  During the same period, condominium prices fell 10.1 percent year-over-year to $226,186.

“The number of completed and unabsorbed condos is up 35 percent over last year. New units resulting from condominium development projects that started two years ago are now coming onto the market and generating a spike in inventory in this segment,” said Norm Fisher, owner and broker, Royal LePage Vidorra. “This is leading to some price softness in the condominium segment and creating a window of opportunity for buyers.”

Nationally, Canada’s residential real estate market showed strong year-over-year price increases in the first quarter of 2016.  The Greater Vancouver and Greater Toronto Area (GTA) real estate markets continue to lead the country in home price appreciation, with Canada’s economic landscape supporting robust housing demand in these metropolitan areas.  Additionally, an emerging trend of inter-provincial migration to British Columbia and Ontario from commodity-focused economic regions such as Alberta is expected to put further upward pressure on home prices in these areas in the coming months.

The price of a home in Canada increased 7.9 percent year-over-year to $512,621 in the first quarter of 2016.  The price of a two-storey home rose 9.2 percent year-over-year to $629,177, and the price of a bungalow increased 6.8 percent to $426,216.  During the same period, the price of a condominium increased 4.0 percent to $344,491.

“A glance at our national house price composite points to a very strong Canadian real estate market, yet the findings contain extreme regional disparities of the kind we haven’t seen in over a decade,” said Phil Soper, president and CEO, Royal LePage. “Like an economic triumvirate, the impact of rock-bottom interest rates, the low Canadian dollar and a rapidly expanding U.S. workforce are stimulating economic growth and housing demand in our largest metropolitan areas. Conversely, in cities like Calgary, the ongoing drags in depressed energy prices and worrisome employment trends have taken a material bite out of sales volumes. As a lagging indicator, home prices in Alberta and Newfoundland are just beginning to adjust to the lower demand.”

“Redistribution of labour across the country is further reinforcing disparities among housing markets, as the broader impacts of the oil recession on Alberta’s economy take hold.  For the first time in many years, we are witnessing an out-migration trend in the province, as economic conditions and employment prospects dim,” continued Soper. “We expect British Columbia, followed by Ontario, to be the top recipients of new household inflows in the coming year, which will further fuel housing demand and price appreciation in Greater Vancouver and the GTA.  This is in sharp contrast to the situation from 2011 to 2014, and in the mid 2000’s, when a booming energy sector attracted families from all over Canada to Alberta.”

Read also: Global News - Increased inventory drives down Saskatoon condo prices

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