In the month of September, there were 268 residential sales on the MLS®. This is similar to September of 2017. The total number of sales for the first three quarters of 2018 was 2,679, a five percent decline from last year. By comparison, in the first three months of 2016, there were 2,935 sales in the city of Saskatoon.
Active listings in Saskatoon continued to shrink with a year-over-year decline of seven percent. In Saskatoon, at the end of September, there were 1,944 active listings compared to 2,082 a year ago. Active listings are higher in the region surrounding the city which includes the cities of Martensville and Warman. At the end of September, there were 1,161 available properties compared to 1,086 for the surrounding area. The decline in available properties is mostly attributable to an overall decline in new listings coming on the market. Year-to-date, there have been 6,521 properties listed in the city of Saskatoon, a decline of 11 percent compared to 2017. In the month of September, there were 648 new listings in Saskatoon. By comparison, in September of 2017, there were 767 new listings and 779 in 2016.
“It seems that sellers who are not highly motivated are choosing to wait until conditions are more favourable to sell,” comments Jason Yochim, CEO of the Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS®. “Currently we are in a buyer’s market with elevated levels of inventory and downward trending prices for most properties,” he adds. Year-to-date, the average price for a home in Saskatoon is $332,700 which represents a decline of four percent from a year ago. By comparison in the past three years, the third quarter average price was $347,165 in 2017 and $352,103 in 2016.
Although much focus in real estate is on the average price, the average can be misleading and is easily skewed. A better indicator of what is happening with home prices is the Home Price Index. The Home Price Index establishes attributes for a home with a base value in 2005. From that starting point, changes in value are recorded over time to get a better sense of what is happening to home prices and how prices are trending. The value for the typical single-family home in January of 2005 was $140,400. It reached its peak in May of 2015 at $329,500. Currently, this value is at $312,200 which is the highest level for 2018 and is virtually unchanged from a month earlier. The Benchmark price for a typical Townhouse style property in Saskatoon was $219,700 last month, this is the lowest point since April of 2007 when the value was $205,300. For apartment style properties, the Benchmark value of $176,200 in September was the first increase since December of 2017 when the value was at $190,600.
Jason Yochim CAE, CRAE
Chief Executive Officer – Saskatoon Region Association of REALTORS®